Through His Eyes
Tuesday, September 13, 2011 at 12:37PM
Karen Spann

The woman sitting next to you in church is not all right. Not even close.

What's on my heart almost always ends up on "paper," and so it goes again. This particular post may be the worst piece of writing I have ever posted, and this doesn't surprise me a bit, nor should it you, sweet Cross my Heart readers. Talking about the elephant in the room may be a very good thing, but I suspect that it has never been pleasant.

Simply put, I don't think any of us truly "see" each other anymore. And I'm talking about Christians. If it's not a "prayer request" or a terminal illness or any other tragedy that makes the top line of the aforementioned...I wonder if we really even notice. Most of us, praise the Lord for His goodness and mercy.. have at least one person they are not married to that they can turn to in the worst crises of our lives; the kind that rock our very foundations, taking with it a piece of us seemingly too big to replace or heal. (Sometimes stealing our faith, for a time, if we were to be honest.) It's not the 9-11's of our lives that go unaided; most of the time we're inundated with help, coming, at times from the most amazing and unexpected places. But coming, just the same. Sometimes, well meaning, we do the wrong things; all too many of us say all the wrong things, at all the wrong times. But we're there for each other. And we look back and realize that we've not only found our faith again in God, but in each other, and we're stronger for having endured it. We survive.

Years ago we lived near a beautiful house with an even more beautiful woman inside it. She lived in seemingly blissful harmony with her very successful husband, their 2.5 children and the family dog, all of which smiled back at us every Christmas on our mantle, wishing us the warmest and merriest of holidays from their immaculate home to ours. Perfection. I had bought it. Hook, line, and sinker. Even envied them a little.
And then a close friend of this family once told me that there were a lot of ugly things that went on behind that pretty door.

I suspect there may be a great deal of ugly things that go on behind a great many pretty doors. Or pretty smiles.

I'm sitting outside Ryan's school as I write this, like I do most days, expecting any minute the tidal wave of high school students, free at last, heading out to wherever it is they go when they are not inside the stately doors of their campus.
They tell me there are children in this system who come to school everyday dealing with things no child should have to think about as long as they are still a child. Some worry they won't have decent clothes to wear, others don't even dare to dream about college. And some children, right here in Hoover, Alabama....come to school every morning hungry, because they don't qualify for free lunches, and Mom and Dad are working 3 jobs just to keep a roof over their heads. Hungry.

My husband tells me the school age children he teaches on Sunday mornings regularly offer up prayers that would drop you to your knees in disbelief. Every single Sunday. And they live within miles of my door.

I used to think the saleslady who ignored me, the man who took my parking place or cut me off in traffic..were all just, well..rude. But I think thats too easy, although I wish I didn't see it differently now, Because it hurts. And because in my heart I believe that it's all simply coming from pain. A hurt so deep that to deal with it on any level weaker than anger would cause what little hold or control they believe themselves to have, to crumble away. And they can't afford that. I don't hear yelling so much anymore. It sounds like crying to me now; deep, gut wrenching sobs that come out like the sharp and biting bark of ferocious dogs. It looks better on them, they believe. And the rest of us can write them off as impossible, or difficult, having nothing to do with them, and pat ourselves on the back for having seen their true colors, and stayed away from such negative and undesirables. They will only drag us down, after all.

I see women crying everywhere I go, and sometimes, I'm one of them. We're fine, we tell each other. And sometimes we are. But not always.

Jesus saw people. Looked deep into them; saw inside of them, and hurt along with them, knowing who they were, had been... Would do. And loved them anyway. He absolutely loved them anyway. The Son of God had time to look into the hearts and hurts of ordinary people. He saw them.

We talk of being His hands and feet. What an amazing thing to be. And what a joy to be called to higher ground... His eyes, that we may see each other, His ears that we may truly listen.
Being saved doesn't keep us from this world. It only makes us more responsible for what goes on in it. Or who. He was speaking to us; His children, His very own...when He warned us about this world, and what we'd be facing. And then He gave us the courage to face it; the assurance that He had overcome it. Because He knew we'd need it. Every single day. Just like we need each other.

There is no greater joy than to be His child, one He died for, heir to His glory in heaven eternally, saved to live a life here in abundance and peace. Called first to love Him, and then to love each other. Like He loved us. Saw us.

Open our hearts, Lord, that You may truly open our eyes.

"When Jesus SAW her, He called her forward and said to her, 'Woman, you are set free from your affirmity'" ~ Luke 13:12

John 19:26
Matthew 10:29
John 5:6
Proverbs 24:12

Article originally appeared on Cross My Heart (
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