It’s amazing how many distractions we have to fight against to have a simple conversation with someone. It takes a concerted effort to lock eyes with a person to let them know verbally and non-verbally you are listening, you see them and that you care.
A look can go a long way.
Eye contact during a conversation without looking around at who is coming or going. Not looking at your phone to check the time, your Facebook or Twitter. Letting the other person know you are there, fully present even for five minutes and you are trying to understand them.
Yesterday at a leadership meeting we unpacked the importance of this in ministry, marriage and with our children. A great part of caring for someone is actually looking at them and what you communicate with your eyes.
In John 8, Jesus is teaching in the temple when all of a sudden he is interrupted by a group of men who bring into the middle of the room a woman caught in adultery. No doubt she was literally “caught” so imagine what she may have been wearing and how disgraced she must have been.
The way the men looked at her must have robbed her from all dignity. I imagine her eyes falling to the ground as she holds back her tears and prepares to be stoned to death.
Could it be that Jesus bends down to write with his finger in the ground in order to lock eyes with her? To say, “I see you and I love you.” He takes the eyes of the men off the woman and puts them on Himself. And with one statement, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her” he shifts their eyes from Him onto their own hearts.
One by one they walk away and Jesus, left alone with the woman stands up and says to her, “Woman where are they? Has no one condemned you?”
She looks around and sees no one but a Savior who does not condemn when He looks at her. Instead, He sets her free, gives back her dignity and with an unfathonable amount of grace releases her with a second chance to go and sin no more.
He looks at her with compassion, with grace and understanding. She did what was probably the worst thing a woman could do and yet He looked at her and loved her to become a better version of herself.
How do you like to be seen? Do you see yourself the way God sees you? Forgiven, redeemed, rescued, with grace and well pleased?
When you look at others do you ask Jesus to help you see them the way He does? With compassion, without condemnation, with hope and encouragement?
In all your conversations this weekend and when you look in the mirror, may it be so.