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My mother had been rushed to the hospital with a stroke.  I had rushed to her and, after the hospital had sent us away so they could run some test, was resting at her apartment with family.

I had pulled on a Cherokee bead work necklace with a cross on that morning because it reminded me of mother.  As we had driven, I had felt it there on my breast and prayed.   Now, I merely prayed.

After awhile, a little woman came to the door, another of the elderly living on the block.  She was tiny and sprite.  She was frail and sassy.  She reminded of my mother in as many ways as she did not remind me at all.  She asked after mother, expressed her concern and was obviously a friend.   She noted the necklace and it was obvious she liked it.   I saw her, reminding so much of someone I loved yet not looking anything like her and a total stranger and saw my mother.

I wanted to hold my mother. I wanted to express my love for my mother but I saw only this small, frail woman.  I slipped the necklace over my head and onto to her tiny shoulders.   Fingers made of pale parchment lifted it up and her old eyes glowed in happiness as she looked at it.   She left soon after, we went back to the hospital, and I never saw her again.

Thinking of that, I realized I had looked at her and not seen her at all. Instead, I had seen my mother. I had given something to her because of my love for someone else.  In a way, that may describe what happens when God looks at those who have come to believe in Jesus as their Savior.   Or to those who want to find forgiveness for their life's errors and sins.  God looks at us but sees the sacrifice on our behalf.  He looks at us but sees Christ.  God looks to the one loved and sees us.

So, perhaps, that is also what we are supposed to do as well. As we weave our way through life meeting people here and there we should have the eyes that do not see the sinner but the savior. That do not see the fault but the forgiveness.  Do not see the stranger, but the one we love.

... namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation. (2 Corinthians 5:19)

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Noel Brooks: A Life Shining and Burning, 1914-2006



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