“He who recognizes a king in disguise treats him very differently from he who sees before him only the figure of an ordinary man and treats him accordingly. Likewise, souls who can recognize God in the most trivial, the most grievous and the most mortifying things that happen to them in their lives, honour everything equally with delight and rejoicing, and welcome with open arms what others dread and avoid.” Jean Pierre de Caussade, The Sacrament of the Present Moment, Daily Quote, InwardOutward.org, July 12, 2018, Church of the Saviour, Washington DC.
I know people like this who seem to treat everyone equally, one person is no more important than another, all are human and divine at the same time. They seem to see the Holy Spirit, the God, the Christ in each person they meet. They do not look onto the outer appearances or political statue, or wealth or power that a person represents. This was certainly modeled to us by Christ.
My experience teaches me that if we cannot see Christ in our neighbor, often it is because we cannot see Christ in ourselves. Consequently, we project onto others our unChrist-like behavior that we do not realize is really within us.
How do we change? Along the way, we are touched by someone who treats us as if we do really have a divine spark, the holy within us. They treat us with love. It is like a spark is being lighted. A light, a lightbulb goes on inside of us. We begin to believe we are loved.
So, this is indeed our mission as spiritual friends to seek out the light, the Christ in each other.
I remember talking to a spiritual friend about a family member I was having difficulty with. She helped me by asking me, “Tell me something good about her. Something she does well.”
My experience also is that I cannot see the Christ in someone else when I live in fear. I realized this recently at a meeting I attended where I was uncomfortable. I wanted to look good. I did not know exactly what was expected of me. I was fearful that I might make a mistake. As an introvert, I did not interact with anyone I did not know. I only had concern for what people might be thinking about me. Was I making a good impression?
At our next meeting I hope to relate better to others. My plan is just before the meeting to say a prayer for each person I know who will be there, asking specifically that we will see the Christ within each other.
I will let you know how it goes.