What is true for us is true for others. Florida musician and leader in the Christian LGBT community, Shawn Thomas, beautifully pictures what it is like to see Christ within the lives of others in his song, “I See the Christ in You”:
For me in my renewing my experience of and awareness of the Cosmic Christ at Wild Goose, I experienced this presence of Christ in others by being drawn away, again and again, from the educational opportunities and the songs, to deep encounters with others.
Sometimes they were people who I came to Goose with, who shared stories of brokenness and grace with me from their lives, while letting my share about the heartaches of loss I have seen this year and the new beginnings that come like well-springs of lovingkindness from God.
Sometimes it was in new faces who opened up about their stories and the presence of Christ in their lives.
One day I got a hard phone call that shook me to my soul. I decided to trust that Christ was with, in, under, and through me, and reached out to a stranger who listened with compassion, and then (to my surprise) told me how they had just the same kind of struggle in their life. In our mutual sharing, Christ spoke to me beyond the words that were said in an experience of deep connection between two people yearning for grace in the broken places of their lives.
In my daily work as a chaplain, I find as I encounter people from all walks of life, of every culture and faith you can imagine, in each of them there is beauty that points me to a new awareness of Christ in my life and theirs. Their stories each teach me lessons of grace, struggle, and wisdom which helpe me as I listen with a heart to see the truth and beauty in each person, to see my life and the world from a new perspective.
The light each of these people I encounter sheds on my life is the light of Christ.
How have you learned to see the light of Christ shining out to you from other’s?
To me the deep challenge of our Christian lives is not to bring Christ to another, as if Christ is not already present in, with, under, around, and through each person. It is to become one whose heart is open enough to hear, see, and know that of Christ in each person. When that happens, we are blessed not only to experience Christ in new ways through others, but also to help raise their awareness to that of Christ within them and their own lives.
I find often where Christ is doing the most in, with, and through others are exactly those areas in which, without others pointing it out, they themselves might fail to notice it. Simply our witnessing where God is at work in another and letting them know the ways we see it in them may be all another person needs to better discern the presence of Christ for themselves in their own lives, and find their way either onto the path for the first time, or further along the path.
Let’s help each other along that path together.
Your progressive redneck preacher,