Wednesday, January 04, 2012

O Say, can you see?

Not long ago, one of the most famous women in entertainment walked down a crowded street in a cosmopolitan city and no one gave her so much as a glance. In fact, people seemed to assiduously avoid making any kind of eye contact with her. For all practical purposes, Meryl Streep was invisible.

The Gospel of John makes much ado about seeing. John the Baptist sees Jesus by the river and points him out. Jesus sees two of John's disciples following him and asks what they are looking for (it's a "seeing" verb in the English translation; the Greek is more like "seeking"). When the two ask where Jesus is staying, he just says, "Come and see." Later, Andrew brings his brother Simon over, and Jesus gazes at him before rebaptizing him Peter. Of course, we all know the rest of the story. The apostles lives were changed that day, because of what (and how) they saw.

All those people in London that day saw Meryl Streep, but that's as far as it went. If they had returned her gaze, what then? Maybe nothing; maybe an invitation to high tea on the set of The Iron Lady. The first step in any relationship has to be seeing past your own nose. (Funny how challenging that can be sometimes!)

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