There has been something about the season of COVID that has made me more aware of my biases and prejudices and how they are connected to my sense of safety. Case in point: there are two elementary-age children who live a few blocks away from me, in a house that is less-than-well-kept, sporting a political flag to which I have an automatic negative knee-jerk reaction. In the past year there have been numerous times that those two little girls were outside playing and came running as soon as we came into view, absolutely desperate to pet Kiko. I said “no” to those requests because I didn’t want to put myself at risk for COVID, and walked briskly past them. They were relentless. I was firm, until I was fully vaccinated.
Then I said “OK”. I’ve learned the girls’ names. They know Kiko’s name. They are lovely and kind to Kiko and always say “thanks” and sometimes tell me about their activities. They like dogs, just like I do. They like to play outside, just like I do. They get messy when they play outside and sometimes are dirty. Ditto for me. They are children of God, just like I am.
Saint Teresa of Calcutta managed to look beyond what was on the outside to the spark of God in each person. She put it this way, “I see Jesus in every human being.” I wish I did as well.
Grant me grace to see the face of Jesus in every person ~ Anne