What Do You See?

It never ceases to amaze me how God can speak to us through His word and through other people. Two weeks ago, our Senior Pastor began teaching on the book of Jeremiah during our Wednesday night service. Jeremiah is often called the “weeping prophet,” and if you read the book of Jeremiah you will soon understand why.

                Oh, that my head were a spring of water and my eyes a fountain of tears! I would weep day and night for the slain of my people. Jeremiah 9:1

                My heart is broken within me; all my bones tremble. Jeremiah 23:9

Jeremiah endured many intense, personal struggles and had only a few friends, which is not surprising, given the message that God called him to proclaim. He is often referred to as the prophet of doom, since he prophesied that God would bring divine judgment upon Judah. Because of the impending calamity, God ordered Jeremiah not to marry and have children.

                See, today I appoint you over nations and kingdoms to uproot and tear down, to destroy and overthrow, to build and to plant. Jeremiah 1:10

                Get yourself ready! Stand up and say to them whatever I command you. Do not be terrified by them, or I will terrify you before them. They will fight against you but will not overcome you, for I am with you and will rescue you, declares the LORD.  Jeremiah 1:17, 19

Now, back to how this study of Jeremiah has spoken to me and has affected (distressed, upset, moved, touched, shook) me over the last two weeks. The following two verses from the first chapter of Jeremiah, have stirred up so many emotions within me as I have prayed and tried to look at people in the way that God wants me to see them.

                The word of the LORD came to me: “What do you see, Jeremiah?”  Jeremiah 1:11

                The word of the LORD came to me again: What do you see?”  Jeremiah 1:13

God asked Jeremiah, What do you see?” God wants Jeremiah to “see” and fully understand his calling. God wants to be certain that he and Jeremiah are on the same page. And I believe that God calls each of us today, to “see” what God sees, and then to react in the same way that God would. I can often “see” things in the way that God wants me to see them but I have a more difficult time reacting in the manner that God calls me to do. We often look at people and judge them based on our own preconceived notions. For me, I often struggle with seeing others in the same manner that God does.

What would happen if we asked God to help us “see” other people in the way that God sees them? (A word of caution: I did and thus my intense struggle). Could you begin to look at other people and “see” them in the same way that God “sees” them? These two, rather simple verses from Jeremiah have stirred up many deep thoughts and feelings in me:

                The word of the LORD came to me: “What do you see, Jeremiah?”  Jeremiah 1:11

                The word of the LORD came to me again: What do you see?”  Jeremiah 1:13

There are two people that God has placed in my path over the last two weeks that have caused me to struggle with these two passages from Jeremiah. One is a homeless woman that I encounter almost every day. She talks about other people’s lack of compassion towards her and then suddenly becomes angry and hateful. (Please realize there are mental issues at play). After my encounter with her yesterday, I felt as if I had failed to “see” her in the way that God sees her. The other is a homeless man that I have noticed over the last two weeks; about the same time I asked God to help me “see” others in the way that God sees them. I have only observed him from my car, walking or sitting on a sidewalk, on a street that I travel four to six times a day. I have not seen him holding up a sign asking for money or carrying any personal possessions. But I see him almost every day on that same street and I have been drawn to thinking about him and praying for him. Now that I see, what is God calling me to do next?

Do you dare ask God to help you “see” others around you that could use a helping hand or a kind, compassionate word? As I said, be careful! Because God just might answer your prayer and give you a burden, like He gave me, to act in some way, to not only “see” but to be compassionate and Christ-like to those that most of society simply ignores.






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