First an update. Mom came down this weekend, so we got to spend some time with her which was nice. We used the opportunity to visit Church of the Highlands in Auburn which was good. Now I sit with a sick little girl. Cari has not felt well and has been running a fever, but beyond that there are no real symptoms. So we’re treating her with a little tylenol and lots of fluids and love. Now on to thoughts.
I love to learn. I think I’m addicted to information. We live in an information age, where you can find out anything you want to know by simply going online. Just Google It. That should be their new slogan, but it would probably infringe on Nike copyrights. Anyway, I love to hear messages from people where some sort of new insight is going to be brought. I’m always wanting to learn something new. I’m constantly on the lookout either in a message, a book, or wherever I can find it. But, it raises a question. How much really absorbs and becomes transformative when you encounter so much?
I feel like I get a lot of information that only goes surface deep. We need to find ways to sit with insights and let them penetrate a little deeper. It’s kind of like a good steak. You can put the marinade on there, but if it doesn’t have time to sit it doesn’t really penetrate and fill the entire steak with the flavor. A little marinating makes all the difference, so it is with good insights. If we move on from them too quickly they don’t stick with us, flavor our lives, and transform us. Which brings me back to the parable of the Good Samaritan.
I don’t know why, but the parable of the Good Samaritan has really been sticking with me, kind of marinating. Rob Bell spoke on it I guess about a year or so ago, and when I shared about this parable recently many of the insights came from him. Then it was a central text at the COH service we went to, and a phrase really began to stick out to me, “when he saw him”. The text tells us that the Priest, the Levite, and the Samaritan saw the man. All of them saw him, and yet the Samaritan saw something different, he saw him with different eyes. And it raises the question, “what do you see?” Hurt people hurt people. When someone is hurting, when someone hurts you, when you’re cut off in traffic, when someone annoys or offends you, what do you see? Do you see someone who is hurting and needs compassion, or do you simply see a jerk that you want to attack back at?
I think the Priest and Levite saw the threat of becoming unclean or a hindrance that would make them run late in their busy schedule, whereas the Samaritan saw a person who was hurting and in need. I read a while back that when we objectify others it actually makes us less human, less of what God intended when He created us. Likewise, when we see other people as human we become more human, we become more like what God intended when He created us. The eyes you see with makes all the difference. We tend to think that the more information we’re exposed to the more clearly we’ll see, but it is kind of the dilemma between knowledge and understanding. We can know all sorts of things about God and yet not have an actual relationship with God, not actually love God.
The difference, that moves us from where we are to where we need to be may lie in changing our eyes, and changing our eyes might just lie not in acquiring more knowledge, but in letting the information we have marinate, sink deep into our hearts and transform us from the inside out. Maybe it begins with simple questions like, “what do you see?”