There are people who I can see.
I don’t know why and I don’t know how, but every now and then I encounter people and just…I see them. I have this kind of crazy affection for them and no matter what they do, no matter how they fail, it stands firm. I feel like I see them as God made them to be and nothing they can do can change that.
I’ve thought for a while that this was a sign of something unhealthy in me; that maybe I just ignore their faults and make them out to be heroes instead of sinners. But this past week I’ve started thinking that maybe God just lets you see certain people through His eyes. No amount of sin can make His image unrecognizable in them.
A couple of weeks ago I sat in the dark theater and I watched my dad’s favorite movie. I felt sad and overwhelmed with grief but also so filled with joy at his life and the way God made him.
And I left I could hear my cynicism whispering to me: don’t forget. Don’t forget all the ways he failed you. I don’t want to make up a fake version of someone so I can love them. I don’t want to forget all their failure.
But driving home I started to wonder if maybe there are just some people who I have grace to love and that I can see the way God made them – not in spite of flaws but through flaws.
Because I haven’t forgotten my dad’s failures and I don’t have a fake version of him in my head. I see people’s flaws, really clearly; sometimes more clearly than they see them themselves.
You could outline every one of my father’s failings for me and you could remind me of every ounce of pain, and I would look you in the eye and tell you that I know those things more intimately than you ever could and I still think he’s one of the most beautiful creatures God’s ever created.
This has only happened to me with about six or seven people in the whole world, and there’s no pattern to it. Some are men and some are women. Some I know well, some I barely know at all. The only thing they have in common is that I can see how fearfully and wonderfully they were made. I can see all the shadows of glory in them, and no amount of their failings can distract me from that.
I don’t know why I don’t see all people that way. I wish I did because when my soul encounters people like that, I get to see Jesus more clearly.
There will never be another created being like my dad. God doesn’t duplicate His work. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t another Being like my dad. Any beauty I saw in him is a reflection of my eternal Father.
May God let me see more of Him in everyone I meet.