I was reflecting on our time this Friday in Los Angeles when we came upon a little art studio at which Justin wanted to stop. It was on the corner of hope and despair. The three of us stopped short in our tracks as my nephew told us that we didn't want to go any further down the block. One moment we were passing restaurants with outdoor cafes and the next moment we were looking at what appeared to me, the end of line. It was frighteningly mesmerizing to me.
It wasn't that I was afraid because I wasn't but that was only because I was on the "right" side of the street. I could look at the edge what appeared to be a scene from an end of time movie and stay in my cocoon of comfort. I could remain ignorant in what goes on in that world.
As I look upon the picture I took, I can see the bleakness that greeted me, the trash strewn upon the street, the cart of a vagrant, the stores shuttered up tight. And yet, I wonder, what is it that God sees? Is this street so different than mine? Perhaps I feel the freedom to walk out unimpeded, but I imagine that underneath it all our lives are just as messy as the lives here. Maybe not so hopeless, but maybe so. I wonder, what is it that God sees? Can I ever see it through his eyes? Can I peel off my fears, my prejudices, my preconceptions and see what God sees? Can I stop being condescending, holier than thou and see what God sees?