The eye of the beholder

Spring has sprung – and so have dandelions on our lawn.

I am not a fan of dandelions. One of my jobs is to get rid of them.

But I realize that some people love dandelions. They make wine from them or use them as vegetables.

It’s all in the eyes of the beholder. It depends on how you look at things – and people.

It strikes me that God sees things in people that I don’t.

A good example is Jesus choosing his 12 close followers. If I were Jesus, I would have sought people with charisma, education and influence.

But he chose fishermen and tax-collectors. If I were Jesus’ advisor, I would certainly have counseled him not to pick tax-collectors. The Jewish people hated these men who served the Romans and added healthy profits for themselves.

What did Jesus see in them?

He saw what they would become. Impulsive Peter the fisherman would become a rock of the fledgling Christian church – a true powerhouse for God. Matthew the tax-collector would write one of the gospels of the New Testament – a book that has changed lives for 2,000 years.

In my life, I have often been surprised – pleasantly surprised – by the profound truths spoken by people with little education. I value education and knowledge, but God values living, active faith far more.

I am glad that God sees value in each of his children. I am glad that he has a place in his kingdom for all kinds of people.

I often think of the apostle Paul’s picture of the church in 1 Corinthians 12 as a body with different parts, each of them essential.

In verse 17, he says: “If the whole body were an eye, how would you hear? If your whole body were an ear, how would you smell anything?”

The message is obvious: We need each other.

And I need to open my eyes to how God sees other people.

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