In my devotion, I speak of opening our eyes and clearing the clouds of discrimination. I encourage people to see beyond stereotypes. However, it is not just stereotypes that keep us from truly seeing others and their worth. We are so distracted these days by technology and a barrage of information that looking away from our screens and pausing long enough to look, instead, into another person’s life and experience happens much too infrequently. We can never learn about an individual by reducing them to a stereotype or a passing acquaintance. We can only begin to understand another by spending time with them, listening to their story, and seeking to comprehend their journey. This takes time and concerted effort.
Too often these days, people walk through their lives in a haze of busyness — never taking the time to stop and really see those around them beyond a surface level. It’s easy to be more concerned with the number of “friends” they have on social media than with seeking meaningful friendship with those in their daily lives.
God designed us to live in community — to gather together in God’s name. Matthew 18:20 states, “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them” (NIV). When we make the time to gather with others, slow our pace, peel back the shades of discrimination, and open ourselves to others in the presence of God, our eyes will be opened to see them as God sees them. No longer will they be a passing blur amid a busy day or defined by a stereotype. Instead, we will see them as a beloved child of God.