I saw you today. I do not know who you are. I do not know your name, but I saw you. In the movie “Avatar” the natives would say to each other “I see you”. This carried with it far more than what is happening optically. It conveyed a sense of really seeing somebody- seeing their essence, acknowlidging that they had a deep understanding and acceptance of who the other person was.
So, I saw you today. The first thing I heard was your voice. I was reading, eating my chalupa (say it with me, it’s fun- chalupa!) when the simple sound of your voice caught my attention. I was reading a book, as I usually am at lunch, and your voice tore me away from what I was reading and quite deeply engrossed in. The sound of your voice told me that there was something unique about you.
The term “handicapped” or “special” have most likely been thrown at you all your life. When I saw you, I knew right away that you weren’t normal, as most of us would define normal. Do you know you touched my heart? As to why I cannot say. Your weakness, what you are lacking, is plain to everyone who lays eyes on you. You cannot hide from it, can you?
Instantly I wondered what it must be like to be you. How often have you heard insulting remarks? How often have children, in their ignorance stare or point? Is it daily that you are mocked or made fun of? For surely much of the human race ridicules that which is different or doesn’t understand.
What must it be like to live encased in a body like that? Broadcasting weakness and your difference everywhere you go? I also couldn’t help but wonder if you are even aware when others talk or stare at you.
A couple of thoughts emerged in my mind.
She reflects the very image of God.
Could there be anything greater than bringing joy to someone like that? Someone who lives a life that I will never be even slightly able to comprehend?
Before I know it tears are fillling my eyes and I am feeling very silly. Who cries at a Taco Bell? Because they saw a handicapped person? Well, maybe if they had some really hot sauce, but I could not claim that excuse.
The idea of seeing joy on a face like that suddenly touched me very deeply.
I did not look long, for doing so is rude. I glanced towards them every once in awhile as she ate her lunch with her mother(?) or caregiver.
Jesus loved such as these. He lived in a world where those who were “sinners” or disabled were shoved out of society, pushed to the margins, as it were. He found them. He touched them when no one would. He lifted their downcast eyes until they met his. What did they see in his eyes? A sparkle of humor mixed with compassion and love? Acceptance? Can you even begin to imagine what it would be blind your entire life and the first thing you see is Jesus? For some reason, he was attracted to weakness like a moth to a flame. But instead of being destroyed by the flame- like a moth is- he fixed it. The flame of your weakness never scares him away. He has come to heal it. That is why he wants to draw near to you. The flame of your weakness is never greater than his ability to heal it.
But what of a one such as this? Would Jesus have loved her? Undoubtedly. Would he have healed her? Maybe she doesn’t need to be healed. Maybe she was sent here to heal something in us.
I looked up again and saw her passing by on her way out. Our eyes met. She smiled at me, her eyes sparkling, and she said “hi!”. I smiled back- probably as genuine of a smile as I have ever smiled- and she walked out the door.