Have you ever walked down a stairway, and noticed the top of a cabinet or of a hall clock? There is usually an even coating of dust, up there, especially if they are taller than you. Or, have you played on the family room floor with your child and quietly have thought to yourself, “The rugs need to be vacuumed?” Or, maybe you are sitting on a soft chair and your hand touches the table top and you see a clear streak of wood where your finger just touched. When we least expect it, we come to the realization that our house is in need of our attention.

We also, can gather dust. The trouble with our dust is it is much more difficult to see and remove. Our perspective of ourselves so rarely changes. We look in the mirror and might observe that we are looking older, or have a few more gray hairs. We can see these outward signs, and they might even trouble us enough to make us try to stop these signs of age. But how do we see our inner dust? What mirror do we have that can see there? The mirror for that is called people.

How do we bounce off of other people? How do they bounce off of us? If we are constantly seeing others as being in need of change, in need of improvement, then we can be very positive that we are seen in a similar fashion. What, ME? Not me! It is because I am where I am, that I can see what these people need, what they need to do to improve. But, it does not work that way. We cannot see and treat people as so many objects that need to be fixed. Because the truth is…they are no different than us, and WE ALL NEED TO BE FIXED.

Our perspective of coming down the stairs, of being on the rug, of sitting in the chair allowed us to see things in our “clean” house from a different vantage point. So too, our perspective of people, of interacting with people allows us to understand their needs, and ultimately, our own needs. We cannot focus on a person’s problem and use that to describe the person. They are no different than us. We struggle together. All of us want, so desperately, to rid ourselves of that which is pulling us down. We want to be squeaky clean, but WE get in the way.

Once again, we look to Jesus, the Christ. He came to tell us that yes we need to see ourselves as we really are, not as we like to think of ourselves, not as we want to be seen. Is it really so difficult to admit that we have faults? That we are struggling with the same fault for oh, so many years? Our pride doesn’t want to recognize that fact. It is easier to focus on others’ problems, and not address our own. But really, the answer lies in seeing ourselves, as we are, as we really are. When we admit we have problems, we are stripping away the façade that we hide behind. We remove the mask that we are wearing, and see that we are like others. The mask removed shows our face to be the mirror that shows what we are. We are like the very people that we see who are in need of improvement. We, each, hold up mirrors to let people see themselves.

In this way, we become brothers and sisters to each other. We become people concerned about others, concerned about their needs, and concerned about what we can do for them. And in all of this, Jesus smiles. For it is by our actions, that He knows that we recognize and really understand that it is because of our dust that He came into this world.

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