When I look in the mirror I see someone quite different from the gray haired businessman others often see. I don’t think my eyesight is any worse than anyone else is; I just see myself through the eyes of what I could and want myself to be. Sitting this morning reflecting on what God is saying to me, I noticed a blinking SMS message flag on my phone. It appears a friend in Australia saw me on local television. Somehow I was unknowingly filmed while talking with colleagues at the Presidents Bar at an exclusive resort where I was attending a business conference.
I wonder what he recognized. Was there any confusion? Was there a chance that the mannerisms were not mine? Could my actions have contradicted the image of the person he knew? If I saw him now would he recognize me by behavior, external appearances, or both?
I find myself caught in the question because of the values and priorities I hold dear. I know they are different. Being driven by a life based on mercy and not justice is a radical shift. Holding onto compassion as a frame is not the norm. An internal belief of true and unconditional equality doesn’t usually sit comfortably. Yet do these make a material difference?
When God gave the blind man sight a new person came to life. The conversation of those who knew him well marks the magnitude of what was now reality.
“Others said, ‘It's him all right!’
But others objected, ‘It's not the same man at all. It just looks like him.’
He said, ‘It's me, the very one.’” (John 9.9)
What was different? It couldn’t just be the expression on the face. Something more fundamentally had changed.
From my perspective there is a key that we often missed. A man, who had almost given up on the future now, in a single act of compassion, was holding onto hope. It was personal, real, and tangible! Everything was different, possible, and new in an instant.
What do other see, the old or the new?
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