When Jesus asked the disciples to look at the little child, what did they see? Did they see an individual that God lives in, that God loves, that God speaks to? Or did they see duty, responsibility, possibly a chore? Did they see an annoyance with which someone else should be dealing?
Each person at each stage in their life is precious in God’s sight. Looking at them through God’s eyes instead of our own eyes should be our goal.
For list makers like me, we get focused on finishing our list. We love being able to mark off something. It makes us feel accomplished. We are moving forward now! We say to ourselves as we blindly ignore the people around us.
I had the privilege of watching my husband’s Aunt and Uncle this week. They have welcomed my husband’s parents into their home. My father-in-law has dementia and needs special care. My mother-in-law does most of the work, but I watched the Aunt and Uncle watch him as he was fed. They enjoyed it and smiled at him. Watching and commenting they were involved with him and earnestly cared for him with their actions. They support her in her care of him. Their actions and their words show their love. I was impressed. They also respect with their words and their actions.
Simple believers show God’s love simply
I think this is what Jesus was talking about when he said, “Your Father in heaven feels the same way. He doesn’t want to lose even one of these simple believers.” (Matthew 18:14)
Jesus wanted his disciples to understand that each individual, whether young or old, outgoing or shy, offering great wisdom and talent or simple help and words, these people were to be treated with love and respect. Each person is important because they reveal God to us in a different way. They hear him differently than we do. They see him working differently than we do. And each perspective gives us all a better understanding of our great, wonderful, and majestic God.
So when we are busy with our tasks, set to mark off another item on our lists, let us remember the people around us. When we look them in the eyes, we acknowledge their presence and their worth. Let us listen to them with the same attention we want others to listen to us. We respect the way they hear God when we give them time to express it.
And let us relax in the presence of God and his people. Let us see why God loves them, individually, for who they are. We are precious in his eyes, all of us, every one. Be a simple believer.