“As in water face answereth to face, so the heart of man to man.” (Proverbs 27:19)
You're walking along one Saturday morning through your local farmers' market. The crowds move in and out around you, breathing the same air, filling it with the busy hum of conversations not meant for you. The place is punctuated by distant laughter, a plethora of street musicians each singing their own songs, vendors explaining their wares, dogs meeting other dogs, toddlers having screaming fits because the snow cones don't come in pink. Then you pause your hunt for the honey seller you usually buy from, because a face catches your eye. It suddenly, unexplainably draws your attention. They might be a close friend. Perhaps an acquaintance from church. Maybe a complete stranger that has something about them which interests you.
We have all had those instances. You find yourself staring at someone and then looking away fast and walking again, hoping they didn’t notice. There’s something in a healthy person that naturally takes an interest in other people. And it is a beautiful something.
When God made humans He made two of us. A man and a woman, and there came all the rest of us, tripping, and laughing, and crying, and sinning, and sometimes glorifying the One Who made us. We are all alike. The world spends so much time telling us we are all different, it's too easy to forget this equally as stunning fact: we are all alike. Every human on this globe, past, present, future, we are all made in God's image, knit together by Him, designed to glorify and love our Creator, and with a soul that cannot die. We alone were called very good in the beginning. We alone live on, forever and ever. Only humanity thinks, and hopes, and invents.
We live with ourselves every day. Well, duh, does that really need to be stated? I think it might, because something happens during a close acquaintance, as day follows day and the years collide to create their kaleidoscope of memories. We forget to wonder at ourselves. You, reader, are made in the image of God. Your heart is deep, your soul unfathomable in its depth and intricacy, your DNA pattern unique, and yet bound by blood to every other human that was ever created. Each time you take a breath a thousand tiny intricate things happen inside you to keep you alive and cognitive. Yet, unlike the dog or beetle, you are not just content to breathe and live, you want to do more with your life. You have a vision, whatever it might be, to change your circle of the world for the better (I hope for the better – if not pause and rethink your life, dude). Humanity is incredible. You are incredible. Every soul that you pass on the street is stupefying in their intricacies and hopes and dreams. And yet you can know them to some extent.
The heart of man reflects the heart of man. We can look inside ourselves and that's how I know you are not just content to breathe in and out and keep living, but you want to do more. That's how I know you have had those moments of interest in a fellow human. We recognize ourselves in others. And we have a strange, exciting aptitude to feel interest in a fellow soul.
Now that I have you conscious of your own breath going in and out of you, take a moment to wonder at your own design, and thank the One who made you for Himself. Then remember you are made for Himself. There is a guiding hand in this world, and it isn't just chance, or some weird force; He is personal, and logical, and the greatest good. So next time you find yourself staring at a person… consider that perhaps, just perhaps, there is a reason your interest is drawn to that particular soul. The honey seller can wait. Step a little closer. Perhaps compliment them on the baby in their umbrella stroller. Let a conversation start. Let your heart answer to theirs. And let them see that your heart reflects an image of God Himself.
“It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest most uninteresting person you can talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare. All day long we are, in some degree helping each other to one or the other of these destinations. It is in the light of these overwhelming possibilities, it is with the awe and the circumspection proper to them, that we should conduct all of our dealings with one another, all friendships, all loves, all play, all politics. There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations - these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit - immortal horrors or everlasting splendors.”
- C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory
- C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory