Last night I almost caused a scene at Walmart. You see, somewhere inside this 6’4 lumbering pastor is still a 6 year old boy that really wants his way. I wanted to get my wife Chelsi a new iPhone and they had a policy that prohibited me from doing so. I talked to the clerk, the assistant manager, and the store manager. I explained to them the nature of policy making and that it is ultimately for the customer’s benefit. I explained that I, the customer, was being wronged due to a policy that did not account for every scenario. I calmly delivered an impassioned plea to “make this right.” The store manager let me finish and blankly repeated the store policy back at me and walked away with calloused nonchalance. I was infuriated. I felt as if it was a personal affront. I devised a plan. This was injustice and I wasn’t going to stand for it. I would find the district manager’s number and have the store manager fired. I would write a scathing email. I would write my congressman. I would gather the 20’s and 30’s of America and march on Capital Hill. “Justice will be served,” I thought.
As I was walking away though, C.S. Lewis whispered something to me. In his work “The Weight of Glory” he writes, “There are no ordinary people. You have never met a mere mortal.” That sentence was brought to my mind and it hit me like a ton of bricks. See, I believe theologically that every person ever born is an image-bearer of God. I believe that everyone is a soul that is infinitely loved by the Creator-God. But sometimes I live like people are “mere mortals.” I live like the world around me is built to serve my needs. I act as though I am of higher importance than others. Jeff the clerk, Dominic the assistant manager, and April the store manager, they are all immortal. They all are the beloved of God and He delights in them. They all have a story. But in that moment last night, all I saw was my need to get a phone and they were there to serve my purpose. So in my childish rage, I neglected to see the human beings God sees.
Despite what John Legend tells you, we’re not just ordinary people. C.S. Lewis remarks that, “It is a serious thing…to remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you can talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship…”
What would life look like if we saw people–all people–as God sees them? Every person–you, your family member, your neighbor, that lady with an annoying laugh at work, the mailman, and even a Walmart employee–is an immortal soul with divine thumbprint of God.