At the risk of sounding macabre, there is something I love about funerals. Of course I don’t love overwhelming feelings of grief and pain experienced by so many. Nor do I celebrate the loss of anyone’s life, no matter how well lived or how long the life. I don’t love the pain associated with a funeral.
What I love are the eulogies. Moments when people pause and reflect on the life of someone they loved. All their annoying idiosyncrasies seem insignificant at this moment. Their mistakes and failures are forgiven. What people remember is the beauty of the life of their loved one.
There is something in me that wonders why we wait for funerals to choose to see people this way. Jesus didn’t. To a Samaritan woman at a well, to a woman caught in adultery, to a vertically challenged tax collector or even a zealot, Jesus found a way to see the person. The real person. Not just the one who had made some poor choices, had a history, or was an outcast, but someone who had an intrinsic beauty as someone made and known by God.
In doing this Jesus also invited people to start to see themselves the way God saw them. Not defined by their sin and brokenness, but someone who God loves and seeks to make whole.
As you encounter people this week how will you choose to see them?