I love Eugene Peterson’s translation of Matthew 6:
Jesus says, “Your eyes are windows into your body. If you open your eyes wide in wonder and belief, your body fills up with light. If you life squinty-eyed in greed and distrust, your body is a dank cellar. If you pull the blinds on your windows, what a dark life you will have.”
So here’s a confession. I often live in the darkness. I often do not trust people. In the world of Facebook and Twitter where you can get criticized on the hour, distrust is easy to build.
But the truth is, people are much more kind than we’d assume.
This afternoon I went to the local playground to walk my dog. It’s normally empty and Lucy loves to run around and chase a ball in the small, fenced area. Today, though, a bunch of kids came walking up, loudly shouting, laughing and just goofing off. My first response was to get out of there. I didn’t want them to hurt Lucy. As they came in, though, one of them brought me the leash I’d left by the gate and another asked if he could throw the ball for me. Then a kid named Jeremiah sat down next to me and told me he wanted to work with animals after he graduated from college. I probably spent the better part of an hour with the kids. They asked why we’d never met if I lived in the neighborhood and I told them I’d just moved in. They welcomed me. I couldn’t believe it.
I think there was only one potential jerk on the playground that day, and it was me.
I like what Jesus said. Essentially, if you’re a jerk, you’ll look around and see jerks, but if you’re open, trusting and vulnerable, jerks will be rare. Most people will be just as bright to you as you are to them.
I know it’s scary, but Jesus wants us to view the world with an open heart and an open mind, not close-fisted against it, but open and accepting, letting the light in and sending it out.