Monday, August 24, 2009

See Through Their Eyes

Sometimes I follow senior adults. That’s right; sometimes I try to follow them at a very close range. Before you think bad thoughts though, let me explain. Years ago I was talking with a senior adult lady who was sharing her frustration with younger people who are impatient with her because she moved a little slower than they did. She told me she wanted to move faster, but with knees, hips, ankles and feet that were feeling the wear of many years she just couldn’t move any faster. She said that if they could feel the pain in every step that she feels maybe they would understand and be a little more patient. I had never thought of that being the reason some people move slower than others. To remember that conversation occasionally I will intentionally walk up stairs or down a sidewalk behind a senior adult so that I will be reminded that life won’t always move at my pace. Seeing this senior adult’s reality I am reminded I need to be patient.

How often do we consider other people’s perspective on life? Too often I find myself expecting everyone to move at my pace and, honestly, wanting them to move at my command. Until we slow down long enough to consider where someone else is coming from, we won’t know how to serve them.

For instance, if I don’t slow down and try to understand where my children are coming from I won’t be able to help them. If I don’t understand why they are frustrated or what they do not understand I won’t know how to truly help them remedy the issue at hand. Sure I could just fix the problem, but I won’t be able to help them learn how to solve problems on their own.

As a pastor, if I don’t know the struggles of the people I am supposed to serve I won’t be able to serve them well at all. I have to be able to see the world through their eyes. That is the point of God coming to earth and becoming flesh in the person of Jesus Christ. Christ is able to understand the human experience and care for us not only from the Creator’s viewpoint, but from the vantage point of someone who has shared in the human experience as well.

When was the last time you looked through someone else’s eyes? Why not have a conversation today and really listen to make sure you understand the other person’s perspective. Then, you might be able to serve them in a way that will make a lasting difference in their life.

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