The Bible tells us that we see through a glass darkly. This refers to our limited ability to grasp the full spiritual realities of heaven, but I believe that our limited perception also affects our ability to fully understand the hearts of others who we encounter here and now. We often fail to see others as Jesus sees them, as His beloved whom He would have paid any price for. He sees in them a beautiful spirit that He has created and He sees what they can become in Him.

We look at others many times and see the flaws—things like anger, selfishness, pride—rather than the sorrow and suffering and hopelessness they may be struggling with. We so often see the outward appearance rather than the great need of a lost and lonely person who longs for hope and support. We often miss seeing the eternal glimmer of life, that part of God that burns within them as surely as it glows in our own heart.

When we think of the lowly stable in Bethlehem, let’s remember that there are multitudes of “stables” housing countless lives right where we are today. The Christ child can work through each of us to shine His light on their darkness, just like His arrival lit up that original stable.

Jesus wants us to look at each person as a priceless soul whom He died for and whom He longs to bless with His peace and salvation. He asks us to go to them in their sorrow and depression and hopelessness so that He can shine His life and love into their hearts.

He went, and it brought us into His kingdom. Mary looked beyond the circumstances in the stable to the angel’s promises and saw God’s gift to all mankind fulfilled before her eyes. The hosts of angels saw the reality beneath the humble beginnings of the Son of Man on earth, and the heavens couldn’t contain their rejoicing!

Let’s allow His brilliance to enlighten the darkened view of our earthly perceptions so that we can see the hearts of those He beckons us to love and care for. He saw past our shell of humanity and reached out to draw us into the brilliance of His Spirit. Can we do any less for the One who has given His all for us?