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Look again

‘Man looks on the outward appearance but the Lord looks on the heart’
1 Samuel 16 v 7

In the Old Testament there is a story of what could be described as a catwalk parade where Jesse brings his sons before Samuel to choose one to anoint as king. Samuel is given the following advice from the Lord- ‘man looks on the outward appearance but the Lord looks on the heart’.
I came across a story of another catwalk parade on the internet about an arts event in Manchester where people from every corner of society walk down a catwalk and were celebrated for who they are. There are young and old, taxi drivers, cleaners, cancer survivors and a Big Issue sales man amongst the 150 ‘models’.
The following sentence in the news article grabbed my attention:
‘It’s often only artists who have the licence to make us stop, see things we hadn’t spotted before, and hit us where we feel it most.’
There are many stories in the gospels where Jesus stopped, saw things that those around him didn’t notice and, when we read the stories, we are hit where we most feel it. The stories of him touching the leper to heal him (Mark 1 v 40-42), healing the woman who touched his cloak (Matt 9 v 20-22), meeting the woman from Samaria at the well (John 4 v1-30), the healing of the blind (Matthew 20 v 29-34 and John 9 v 1-7), his encounter with Zaccheaus (Luke 19 v 1-10), and his words to the criminal crucified alongside him (Luke 23 v 40-43). These are just a few examples.
If Christians step up and do as Jesus did then may be we can look forward to the day when the media reports that the church is a body of people who ‘make us stop, see things we hadn’t spotted before, and hit us where we feel it most’.

Sarah Bellamy

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