Spotting Jesus: Advent 4

It was near the end of the day before I realized I’d seen him.  I was having a short conversation with a lady I see on a weekly basis.  I have assumed, from our brief encounters, that she doesn’t want much to do with me – she rarely speaks to me unless we must interact, and I usually sense from her mannerisms and facial expressions that she’d just as well not bother with me.  But tonight I had to ask her something, so I braced myself…

For a long time I’ve been intrigued by Jesus’ teachings about dealing with people who are less than friendly to us.  True, he spoke in harder terms, like loving your “enemies” and “those who persecute you.”  But I think the principle comes back to treating others as we want to be treated.  In essence, we have been given love and grace in endless measure – it will certainly not hurt us to be graceful and loving too… even (maybe especially) to those we might feel don’t deserve it for some reason.  It’s in those moments I begin to understand how much it sometimes costs God and others to give grace to ME.

So when I spoke to her tonight I tried to be as loving and graceful as possible… and I was amazed to see it reciprocated.  She was patient with my Slovak, and very helpful in her response.  I walked away grateful for God’s grace working in both of us.

Today I saw Jesus in an unexpected bit of grace – both given and received.  If you’re looking for Jesus today, try giving some grace to someone who might not “deserve” it.  You may be amazed at what happens.

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