Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Transformed !

In the early eighties I was working as head of the alteration department for Eatons.
A woman, by the name of Loretta( not her real name) , worked in one of the other departments in the store. She was a woman devoid of any natural beauty. She was not thin, she was boney !! Her facial features were sharp and angular with a narrow chin jutting out to a point. Her long nose curved down almost touching her thin lips. Her hard to control hair was fine and thin, permed to a dry frizz and dyed an unnatural blonde . Her voice was irritating and high pitched, and her cackling laugh would turn heads in her direction. She had lived a hard life and it showed.

One day I was sitting in the staff room diagonally across the table from her. As I idly watched her conversing , listening to her coarse language , watching the smoke curl from her cigarette, a strong dislike rose up in my heart. As a Christian , I knew I was called to love everyone, but when it came to Loretta - I found it very difficult to find it in my heart to even try.I felt guilty for my strong negative emotions but I tried to justify them by telling myself that it was an honest judgment on my part… I was just hating sin and the effects of sin.
I put Loretta and my feelings about her out of my mind.

At that time I was in the habit of rising early enough so that I could have some time to read my bible and pray before I went to work.
One Saturday morning I was on my knees beside the living room sofa , bringing to God the concerns on my heart. Since I had heard Amy Grant’s song “My Father’s Eyes” my prayer had been that God would teach me to see people as He saw them. And in that morning prayer my heart’s cry was repeated , “Lord, let me see people as You see them….”
Immediately as the words were spoken in prayer….. there flashed into my mind a dream that I had dreamed that night. I had had no recollection of any dream until that precise moment.

I had dreamed that I was sitting in the staff room alone, except for one other person. Loretta. She was sitting on the sofa using the staff room phone . As I sat watching her a wondrous thing happened before my eyes - a soft, heavenly light shone down over her, causing her hair to look like spun gold, her features softened and her countenance changed , a beautiful smile crossed her face and I thought in surprise …. “ Why, she is beautiful !”
In the flash of time that I remembered my dream the Lord spoke to me and said, “That is how I see her !”
I wept and asked his forgiveness for judging her so harshly , and prayed that I could show her His love.

I never forgot what the Lord taught me…. It is not that God overlooks people’s sin or that He wants us to accept people as they are ! No, rather what He wants is that we see with His eyes, seeing past their sin and human frailties, recognizing what God could do in them and through them.
Every human being is offered an invitation to become a citizen of God’s Kingdom,… every person is offered the undeserved merit of God’s forgiveness, everyone has the potential to be beautiful in God’s sight.
He can take the vilest sinner and shine His glory through them. We need to see people - not for what they are… but for what they can be !! How better to convince them of God’s love for them than to show them God’s love for them through us.

II Corinthians 3:18 “But we all….. beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory..."

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