Vincent Van Gogh painted over thirty self portraits between 1886 and 1889. It's something many artists do n a regular basis, but for me it's a struggle. I can't help noticing all of my faults and wondering if it would be dishonest to make myself a little younger/thinner etc. Thankfully a verse pops in my head that keeps me in check:1 Samuel 16:7 - "The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart."
Today I saw a link that's been floating about the Internet. It was good to be reminded and oh-so-worth watching. Check out Landfill harmonic and then come back... http://vimeo.com/52711779
Did you watch? What is truly amazing is that Favio Chavez and Nicolas Gomez are able to look past the filth of a landfill, their ugly harsh reality, and see the beautiful treasure. What's more is that they choose to share this with underprivileged children of Paraguay. (OK... if you read ahead, now is the chance to go back and watch. It's nothing short of miraculous and worthy of your time.)
How often do we look past the filth that surrounds us? Perhaps you live in a beautiful neighborhood and have surrounded yourself with beautiful things; however even in my small town there is an element of forgotten or unwanted. If you see some graffiti, for example, do you see just an act of careless vandalism, or can you look beyond and consider the raw emotions behind it- perhaps a scared and lonely individual searching for acceptance. When a homeless person holds up a sign, do you look away? If you do help him out, can you look him in the eyes and see beyond the mess that has become his life, to a brother in this world who lost his way, who possibly has a family worried two states over, who has a Father in heaven that loves him just as much as he loves you. We put so much of a person's worth in appearances and occupation. Oh how we revere sports celebrities and movie stars, but don't give the office maintenance guy a second glance. We also find that a good looking person is easier to love somehow.
The really cool thing about God is that He looks at the heart. He sees past the bad hair day, or miserable mood; He sees beyond the dirt and filth and seemingly useless messy life, to his child... His beautiful child, made in His image to be His glory. He sees the potential and loves us regardless. What if we were to spend one day looking at our world through God's eyes. Do you think we would discover beauty as Favio and Nicolas did? Do you think we could spread love and change a corner of the universe? Consider yourself challenged. Tomorrow, think about how many "invisible" people cross your path each day. Take a day to really look people in the eyes and notice them. Ask someone about his day and truly wait and care about the response. Maybe reach out to a homeless person. Find the beauty beyond. Look at the heart. ...Then come back here and share the treasure you discovered. God bless your adventure!