Monday, January 04, 2010

Happy Birthday Jesus, I am wearing the glasses you gave me...

I know, that is an exceptionally long blog post title, but there it is. I think it is worthy of addressing in the post Christmas let down, (and don't deny there is one) that if you will don your "God Glasses", the quality of 2010 will surpass 2009 faster than a woman on her way to a good shoe sale.
What are "God glasses" you say?
God Glasses help you to look around your world and see people as He might. God calls us to love the unlovable, to care for the orphan and widow, to help those in need. We however, do not like to step out of our comfort zone to do so. We also may need to realize how poor our "vision" really is regarding those around us. (and by we, I mean me. I am lover of comfort zones.)
Do any of these sound familiar?

You are at the stop light, and there is that guy. You know, the one holding his sign, it no longer even reads,"Will work for food" Now, it simply says, "Help please." You may look at him and think: Get a job! Get motivated! Get to a shelter and get help! You may also think, Well, I am not giving him money, he may go buy wine (gasp!) with it, or something.
Now... slap on those God Glasses and really look at that man, that person, that fellow human being...
He is lonely, has been most of his life. That job, he never seemed to get it, and when he did, he couldn't keep it. He lost it all, and found solace in a bottle or just being alone, maybe. He couldn't think straight anymore, and then, he just gave up. No one called to check on him, he was not brought any meals. He was not really wanted much anyway, so when he drifted out of the picture, people didn't really notice. His pride, that was gone the first time he had to stand on a corner and take money from strangers.

There she is, that snotty cashier at the grocery store. She is never happy, never makes small talk, and always acts like your need to pay for your items is a bother to her. You think: she should be glad she has a job! She needs to do better or you might just complain! You may say something snotty to get back at her today!
The Glasses show a girl who is mad at the world. She had dreams and hopes and they were stolen from her. By who? Maybe an abusive parent, a demeaning boyfriend, or that adult in her life she thought she could trust. She feels like she has no one and nothing to be thankful for or happy about. Cynicism comes as naturally as breathing, and no one is ever nice unless they want something from her.

Another starving kid in Africa commercial? Enough already, you think. That problem is too big for me to make a difference. Its that country's fault they all have AIDS anyway, you reason. Stop having kids and unprotected sex. Problem solved, your globally inept ego boasts.
Look at those eyes again. Think of your own child. Is he a boy? He will be taken from his family, given a gun and taught to kill. A little girl? She will be raped at a young age, probably by a relative. There is no one to tell, no one can stop it. She will have children she cannot take care of, and be left with a disease she did not ask for. What if that was YOUR child? Would you want someone to try and make a difference then?

There he is, that annoying co-worker. He is always bragging about the latest purchase, the way he handled the account better than anyone, and anything else he can one-up you with. You try to avoid him at all costs. You would rather eat the stale nabs from the vending machine than say yes to his lunch invites. He is not someone you ever want to hang out with. Period.
Glasses on? What you might really see, a guy who never feels accomplished. He could never please his parents enough, and now, his wife never seems to be happy either. He isn't sure if he is really good at anything, and wonders... when can I stop chasing empty dreams? He doesn't stop long on that thought though...there is always another purchase to make, another accomplishment to brag on, in order to try and fill that void... but he knows it will be back.

Her. She is dressed in less than you wear to bed. She is clearly not a "nice girl" and has the bulging baby belly to prove that her actions have caught up with her. Should have kept yourself covered up you think. Maybe if you didn't hang out in bars and flirt with any man around, you wouldn't be single and pregnant, you suspect. "Slut" is there on the tip of your tongue, but you dare not give it breath, that would be too harsh, even for you.
Now, adjust those glasses and look again. See her, she is lonely, scared, and afraid. All she wanted was to be loved, and when she goes home with someone, for those couple hours, she is. They need her then, they want her. Sure, by the next morning, they are out the door, or worse, telling her to leave quickly without so much as a second glance. How did I get here she thinks?

Every person has a story to tell, and it is rarely short enough for you to read in a brief encounter. I am not stupid, I know not every rude cashier will flip her switch and be transformed because of one nicety, but how do you know what you or I being nice to her might mean? What does it tell the guy on the corner if we stop and ask what he would like from McDonald's? What can we give up in order to send in that $35 a month to feed a child? Can I tell annoying man at work that he did a good job before he tells me? Am I willing to show love to the girl who thinks sex is her best talent? It is not enough to tell someone "Jesus loves you and died for you." You and I need to SHOW it. Just Show it. That is the new Motto 'round here.

This year I am asking God to please, take my judgemental human vision and impair it. I want Him to help me see others with a heart of compassion and love...
after all...
Don't you ever wonder what others think when they see you?
Here is my little family on Christmas.
I love these knuckleheads.


  1. Jude. WOWZA. How often do we do this, hundreds of times a day? Thank you for your beautiful words of truth.

  2. Jude, this post is fabulous. A couple of years ago, when I found myself going through some very difficult dark times, I started thinking how important it was to be grateful...Then when that made my life better, I started thinking how much better life would be if we would, just one smile at a time, treat each other better. And that has increased the joy in my heart even more.

    This post has a special place in my heart because I have lived many of these things, found comfort in gratitude and the joy of making someone else smile. Love you my friend. Your family is gorgeous!

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  4. What a lovely and gentle reminder...thanks.

  5. Anonymous11:03 AM

    Well said, Jude! I pray all the time that God will help me to see people the way he does, and sometimes when I do get that glimpse it's really humbling and difficult. It's something we all need to remember and thanks for the reminder today.

  6. thanks for the reminder ... gotta keep those glasses on!

  7. where are my darn glasses....I think I need a new pair....or at least a pair that stay on all the time, and not just when that commercial for starving kids comes on, ....I often think about how people would say something different about me than my husband....I nag him too much, and don't praise him enough...I need to do better...thanks

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  9. This was beautiful, Jude. Thanks for the reminder.

  10. So, so true!
    I've missed you. I had to come see what you've been up to. The boys are getting SO SO big!! You have such a gorgeous family, Jude. You and Micah make pretty babies.