The text will arrive sometime today. I don't know when.
All it will ask is, "What do you see?"
Today marks the beginning of the "What Do You See?" campaign on campus. Students in the graduate student campus ministry receive a random text message from my husband every day for two weeks. When I receive the text question, I'm challenged to do three things:
1. Look up and see who is around me.
2. Pause and pray for a few moments, asking God to open my eyes and to show me how He sees those who are around me.
3. Think about what God shows me and contemplate how that is different from how I typically see that person/those people.
I'm also challenged to record what happens--who I see and what I do about it--when I get that text.
The last time I agreed to this challenge, I received the texts at the most inconvenient times. Every person in my path seemed angry and unapproachable. But I'd look down at my phone and see the question, "What do you see?" and pray for God to show me what He sees instead.
I found courage to stop my minivan and ask my neighbor how she was doing. I turned to complete strangers in elevators and perceived them in light of eternity. I looked up and saw the office assistant as precious to God.
In John's gospel account, I learn that Jesus tells the disciples to "open their eyes" and see the fields are ripe for harvest. Jesus tells the disciples to "open their eyes" right after His encounter with the Samaritan woman (who everybody saw as an outcast). Jesus saw her differently.
I pray my eyes are opened today to see people as God sees them. I don't know where I'll be when that text comes, but I pray I have the courage to love the way God does. Eventually, I won't need a text message to remind me to see folks in my path differently, but for these two weeks, I'm training my heart to love.
Journal: What do you see as you read this?