Today is day two.
This week I am at YoungLife camp in Colorado with a group of many I do not know. Yesterday was arrival – 2 hour flight, 2 hour drive. Today is the second day, and by my experience the day when the magic of getting away begins to stir.
We are a culture contaminated by the first impression. We work extraordinarily hard to make a first look happen and happen according to our standards of right. Think of it. How much grooming, manicuring, perfuming, and more go into looking just so? How much time is devoted to makeup, hair – for men and women – in order to impress? We craft a look we want to be the look others hold.
Day 2 begins to chip away at the myth. Day 2 on a retreat begins to reveal who we really are. Yesterday I was one guy. This morning I am the disheveled guy, unshaven, with hair a mess, blogging with the Rocky Mountains out the window. Others will notice the change.
Of the much I love about Jesus, perhaps the gift of his I would like the most is his sight. Jesus was not one enamored by the first impression. He saw all of the looks we are in the same glimpse. He knew our potential for greatness and evil. He knew our beauty and horror, and then he made the decision only God can – to love us in spite of and because of what he saw.
When you and I deal with people and ourselves we would do well to follow the example. No one we know should be defined by what we see once. Everyone is worth a second look, and that includes ourselves. Jesus could see all of who we are and we will make better decisions loving, managing, and dealing with folks as we take not just one look, but two.
In Matthew 23:27, Jesus said,
Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean.
Ouch. The irony of the person of the first impression is that in truth there is nothing to see. Or worse, would Jesus say the truth of the person of the first impression is there is only death to see?
Today people and mirrors will cross your path. Take not one look, but two.
(thanks for reading, if you found Jesus in this please comment and share)