Lately I have been feeling convicted about my preconceived ideas of people. I am judgmental. It's ironic, for so many years I've been handicapped by feeling judged and now I see that I'm the guilty one.
There have been several times in the last month where I missed out on opportunities because of my first impression of someone.
For many years I worked in retail management. During that time I relied on first impressions. I based many decisions on the first 2 minutes of conversation with someone. Sometimes I made decisions based strictly on appearance. Well, first impressions are nothing.
I am so thankful God doesn't judge me based on his first impression. On the outside I am a mess. Even on the inside I am a mess. I can be rude, mean, snotty and selfish. Somehow he sees past that and sees my heart. He sees the brokenness inside, he has compassion for me. He's taken all that ugliness and is slowly working, transforming me. He never feels like I am a lost cause or beyond repair. God will never call me a total loss. Like car insurance companies, we toss each other aside. We decide that someone may be too much work to be worth the effort. God looks at us and says we are irreplaceable. The amount of work means nothing to him. The cost is nothing, he literally gave everything to buy us back. He is working to lovingly rebuild us, to restore us.
I wish I had his eyes. I wish I could just automatically see others with his eyes. I quickly form opinions about others based on what my eyes see and my ears hear. In myself, I am not equipped to see beyond that, but God is expanding my view. God is replacing my clouded vision and restoring it to be able to see the way he does.
I am starting a project with my kids. We are calling it "I See You!" We are making small packages with water, protein bars, sunscreen and a few other small things. In each bag we are going to have a note, not sure what we're writing yet, but I want whoever receives it to know they are visible. I see them and so does God. These packs are going to be stored in our car, that way when we see someone on the street corner holding a sign we can meet their need. First, we're offering a drink and food, but most important, we see them. I know how hopeless it feels when you think no one cares, no one sees you.
As a Christian, God wants me to be his hands and feet. I want to physically model his love, I want to teach my kids to model this. If I can teach them to love those who we so often see as the dirtiest or scariest people, then loving those kids they meet at school will be easy. I want to see the hearts and souls of people, not their broken exteriors.
I will update this with some pictures as we progress with our plans!