Have you ever stood in front of one of those stereogram illusions where your eyes had to look differently at it to see the picture? The kingdom of heaven is like that. At first all you see is a bunch of squiggly lines. Lots of colors. But nothing makes sense. This is not art. You don’t see anything of value. But once your eyes learn how to look differently, an entire picture is revealed to you.
Suddenly things are different. You stand next to others who are looking at the same thing you are, and like you, when you first stood there, all they see are squiggly lines. Lots of colors. But nothing makes sense. You could try to explain to them that there is something beautifully amazing in front of them. You could explain in great detail what you see. You can coach them. Explain how to refocus their eyes. Maybe just look at one part of the picture, and ignore the rest for now. But they look at you like you’ve lost your mind. There is really nothing you can do to get them to see the picture any differently. It’s not until their eyes learn to see differently do they understand. They won’t get it though, unless they try and keep trying.
I wish everyone could see the Kingdom of Heaven like I do. It doesn’t look like much if you don’t know what you’re looking at. It often looks like a lot of squiggly lines with lots of color. But nothing of value or importance.
But once the picture has been revealed to you, there’s no going back. You can’t unsee what you’ve already seen. And people call you crazy and that you’ve lost your mind.
But it’s ok. I’ve seen the truth. I know what’s there.
“Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand. In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah: “‘You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving. For this people’s heart has become callused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.’ – Matthew 13:13-15
I met a gentleman this morning outside a convenience store, near 44th street and Van Buren. He was sitting in his wheelchair as I approached the front door, when he called me over to ask me a favor.
I immediately shake his hand and asked him how I could help. He started off by saying he’s had a rough day, and did I have any money. Something about needing a bus pass, and a bus driver buying him a soda but the cashier inside thought he was stealing it, and then asked him to leave the premises, and he couldn’t leave…and I stopped him. “Do you need a bus pass? Well sure I can get you a bus pass. You wait right here.”
He was very appreciative. I went inside and started to grab the items I came in for; some cheese, a water and a Slim Jim, when it occurred to me I should get him something to eat and drink too. So I grabbed another water and found another Slim Jim, but when I was standing in line I remembered his crooked smile and thought he would probably have a hard time chewing the Slim Jim, so I put it back and started to find something more soft that he could enjoy. I settled on some powdered donuts, and took my place back in line. I purchased my items, reminded the cashier about the bus pass I just bought, then headed back outside to find my new friends exactly where I left him.
“Here you are my friend,” and before I could place everything into his hands he started to tell me about a prescription he needed to pick up that had a copay he couldn’t get and…
I cut him off with the same smile on my face that I had as I approached him, and asked him his name. Daniel, it was. “My name is Kim, Daniel. I hope you have an incredibly blessed day, but don’t carry any cash on me and no I’m not going back inside to get some. This is what I can do for you, so you take care.”
He thanked me for my kindness but I knew he didn’t get what he really wanted, but that’s ok. I still got to be the person I wanted to be and I didn’t let him tarnish my feelings for those in need. I didn’t let him make my heart bitter or hard. Even as I drove off and I could see he wasn’t in any hurry to catch any bus, I still prayed that one day what he wants, is what he needs.