Redefining the Art of Greeting Strangers With Kindness
Imagine a world where everyone treated one another with the kind of compassion Jesus so often spoke of. What would happen to wars? What would the words 'racism' or 'sexism' become? Would economic injustice be able to exist? Would people die alone, or without the best medical care? Would anyone go hungry?
It's a tall order, perhaps a pipe-dream or an unattainable illusion. But what would happen to society if we treated all strangers as if they were Divine? Even if half the world did it that would be powerful enough to affect the other half? We are powerful people. We have the power to change the way other people act by the way we treat them.
"Can you see the image of Christ in the least of your brothers and sisters?" asks Richard Rohr. "This is Jesus’ only description of the final judgment (Matthew 25). When we can see the image of God where we don’t want to see the image of God, then we see with eyes not our own."
This is a simple, yet radical approach to everyday living. I believe we can transform the world simply by the way we see people. In the thoughts provided here I hope to encourage you to look into someone's eyes and see if you can see the Divine Christ looking back at you. When we all begin to only see Jesus, we no longer see Jesús as a threat to our way of life.
Matthew 25:34-40, (NRSV)
Then the king will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?’ And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’