“Men go abroad to wonder at the heights of mountains, at the huge waves of the sea, at the long courses of rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motions of the stars, and they pass by themselves without wondering.” — Saint Augustine
How true these words, perhaps even more so today as we have the entire world at our fingertips; so easily accessible. Though how often do we forget to be utterly fascinated by the wonder of human life? We discard human beings, miracles, without any thought. And worse yet, we justify it. I’m not just referring to the horrors of war and abortion. I mean even in our ordinary day-to-day moments. We judge, we compare, we belittle, we curse, we ignore, we avoid the ones we love, let alone the ones who are strangers. Death is spoken from our lips constantly. But how precious is every uniquely crafted pinnacle of God’s creation?!
I’ve been thinking again about my recent trip to Cyprus. I didn’t write too much about it, but it was a significant time for me. I saw very little of the island itself because I was there to pray and paint for complete strangers. I fundraised and sold my artwork for the privilege of showing people how precious they are to God. To reveal His heart for them and demonstrate that anyone can hear and receive from the Living God because of all Jesus accomplished in His death and resurrection. Many were skeptical. Many criticized. I… I even doubted. It only showed me we were doing something right.
Antonia, Evie, Petros, Angela, Eudokeia, Irina, William, Leese, Maria, Nes…
Just a handful of the hundreds of people who passed through our tent during a week long cultural festival. People from all over the world. People who are and will remain strangers to me, but each one — a gift to creation and purposely placed here. And for a few brief minutes I experienced the precious joy and responsibility of seeing them the way Jesus does and speaking life over them — hope, encouragement, peace, love — some messages danced over heads, others pierced hearts. All walked away with a painting forever reminding them of the moment. God was not threatened by their background or baggage. What they did or didn’t believe. He loves them, so I did too. It was simple. It was powerful.
God invites us all into these kind of moments. He invites us into real, dynamic, pulsing, constant relationship with Him and he just needs our yes. He invites us into authentic and deep relationship with others to reveal more of who He is. It’s not about living vicariously through a few; it’s about welcoming Jesus into your life through any and all individuals and learning to love like He does.