A few years back when I was deciding on where to get a tattoo that I had been thinking about for a while the argument was made by a few people that the location that I wanted to get the tattoo was inappropriate and would give people the wrong impression about me. I couldn’t understand how someone would judge the way they saw me as a person based on a location of a tattoo, it seemed absurd and a bit archaic. As I mulled through my options and what I wanted to do I was talking to a friend one day who very clearly reminded me that the people who would ascertain my person and character from where I had a tattoo would not be people that I would care for their opinion anyway.
As a photographer, and an extremely visual and feeling person, I have a deep deep well from which I long to draw on the lord’s deep deep love and affection for people and creation. The more I’m learning to engage with those people that God has positioned me in life and community with, whether it’s for a day, a week, a year or everyday for the rest of my life, the more I realize how distinctly beautiful and intricately detailed inside and out God has woven and created each of us.
Whether some behaviors are a result of being affectionately loved or being neglected, being valued or being abused, being secure in Christ’s love or still longing for more security in God and people’s love and affection, learning to love and appreciate one another exactly where we are, while still praying for the Lord’s will for each other’s lives. If I don’t learn to love and nurture and enjoy people exactly where they are then my love is not Christ’s and my relationships and the wells of living water that He desires to flow among our lives crashing together will not be free flowing.
I’m reminded of the verse in Song of Songs chapter 1 verse 5. “I am so black’ but you are lovely and pleasant the ladies assured her…” Regardless of how one sees themselves, are we willing to believe that God is truly at work in their life, that “He made from one common origin all nations of men and women to settle on the face of the earth, having definitely determined their allotted periods of time and the fixed boundaries of their habitiation, so that they should seek God, in the hope that they might feel after Him and find Him, although He is not far from each one of us.” The people that we are running into at the market, at work, on vacation, our nearest friends and neighbors, they are there on purpose because God has “definitely determined” that they be there that we would all “feel after Him and find Him, although He is not far from each one of us.”
Learning to see people as God sees them is not a list of to-do’s to check off and simply guidelines to adhere to but comes from enjoying Jesus and allowing Him to be the lens through which we see our world.
We are not the clothes we wear, the accomplishments that we achieve, the positions that we hold, the friends that we have, the money in the bank… the psalmist says we are “formed in secret and intricately and curiously wrought as if embroidered with various colors in the depths of the earth.” May we enjoy who each other is today and love and appreciate one another into the complete wholleness of Christ’s purposes for our lives.
much love | katee grace