• Perry Floyd

People Looking...

For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again. So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. 2 Corinthians 5:14-16

One less-than-admirable feature of humanity: we tend to "pigeonhole" other people. Pigeon holes were the openings set in a wall or a purpose-built pigeon cote in which the birds nested. By 1789, the arrangement of compartments in writing cabinets and offices used to sort and file documents had come to be known as pigeon holes because of their resemblance to the pigeon cote. Like these cotes, we label people in known categories, we classify, we type-cast. Often with a single glance, we make assumptions, judgments and decisions about a person with no real evidence.

The prophet Samuel did this at the home of Jesse: sent there to anoint the new king, Samuel met Eliab first, and was impressed by his appearance. "When they arrived, Samuel saw Eliab and thought, “Surely the Lord’s anointed stands here before the Lord.” But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart" 1 Sam. 16:6-7.

I have been arrested by the phrase Paul used in his letter to Corinth (see above). We "regard" no one from a worldly point of view. "Regard" is eidow, meaning to perceive, to know by means of seeing or observation. Paul's perception of Jesus as God's Son changed the way he looked at everyone. He likely thought, "if Jesus could change me, there is no one He cannot transform."

I am "regarding" every person I see in a different light these days. I ask for the eyes of Christ, to see people the way Jesus sees people. This is a huge part of the answer for racism, sexism, misogyny, and discriminatory practices rampant in our culture. In order to properly pigeonhole someone, I say to myself, "she is God's creation, bearer of His image, however marred. God loves her more than I can know. In Christ, she has a tremendous destiny and purpose." Will you join me to ask for fresh eyes, for the love of Christ to compel / drive us to love our neighbors as ourselves? Surely you know the temperature of our land these days is to judge and classify quickly, to be so very easily offended. We defame and disparage at the drop of a hat. I choose to do my people looking via the eyes of my Savior, don't you?

Donning heaven's prescription glasses, Perry Floyd

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