I remember the first time I was asked this question. I was in third grade and very timid. Sister Veronica, who kept a 6-inch ruler handy in her habit’s side pocket, pointed at me demanding an answer.
Short? Pretty? Smart? Funny? Fifty-three years later I cannot recall what answer I gave, but I have never forgotten the question.
As a teenager wanting to be popular it would bubble through my subconscious and haunt me. In my twenties and thirties I know there were times Jesus saw me as impatient and quick to anger over what I now realize were insignificant events. Sometimes I can be an indifferent wife, friend, sister, daughter. I can be blind to others’ pain, deaf to their complaints, jealous of their accomplishments.
There are even periods when I know Christ sees my indifference to His Word, and my anger at what I perceive to be HIS indifference to my needs.
How does Jesus see me … when I am making fun of others to make my friends laugh, myself feel important?
How does Jesus see me … when I cut someone off on the freeway and lay on my horn impatiently?
How does Jesus see me … when the clerk forgets to add an item to my tab and I keep silent, internally shouting ‘oh yeah’?
How does Jesus see me … when I harbor anger at an individual long after the transgression has passed?
Does Jesus ever see me taking a few moments to compliment a stranger looking lonely or sad in the grocery aisle? Or does he see a person so intent on finishing her list she rushes through the aisles without seeing anyone?
Most of us go through our day on autopilot. We have responsibilities to families and work, chores to accomplish before another day starts, places to be. Children need to be to practices, games, school, doctor appointments. Our families are counting on us doing our part, hold up our end of the bargain. We are the drivers in the great ‘family’ plan.
But in the course of doing all that we do, do our actions cause Christ to smile, laugh, be pleased? Or do they cause Him to wince, frown, and become disappointed?
Everyone who is not a saint puts on different faces. For many, choosing the right clothes, vehicle, shoes, purses, homes, schools for our children consume our thoughts. But all of these accoutrements are just pieces we don for others to like us, look up to us, envy us.
“For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7)
Simply put, Christ sees the image imprinted on our souls.
He does not care about your home’s square footage, but I am sure he cares whether you keep your doors open to all. He does not care what we wear, but I am sure he is displeased when we fail to see if others need clothing. He does not care what school your children attend, but He will care if you fail to teach them about God, His Heavenly Father.
Take a moment before closing your eyes tonight and honestly assess your accomplishments and interpersonal interactions. Then ask yourself Sr. Veronica’s question: How did Jesus see me today?
For me, this question has made all the difference.