Did you ever notice how Jesus meets people where they are at? Physically, he goes to where the woman at the well is, Zacheus, those who are blind, disabled and outcasts. The same with the Pharisees, teachers of the law, soldiers, leaders and more. He meets them where they are at physically, emotionally and cognitively. He sees them, hears them and asks questions before he starts to try and convince them of anything… in fact, we hardly see Jesus try to convince anyone of anything, ever. He simply notices (sees) a person and their needs and offers an invitation of meeting them there. Some say yes and some say no. Either way, there is a kind and true awareness of who he is interacting with.
Photo by Dương Hữu on Unsplash
I am struck by the reality that I have a tendency to try to meet people where I am at, and barely even notice where anyone else is at emotionally or cognitively. This creates a real issue because that means we are starting at two different starting lines. In fact, I often coach clients this way. When I hear people struggling to be on the same page in relationship with another I suggest that they consider if they are at the same starting line. And often the answer is no. Neither person has taken the time to ask things like: What is that person feeling about this? What context or perceptions are they beginning with? What assumptions am I making that is creating a block between us?
I see this especially in things like religion and politics; things that we have strong opinions on. When we don’t make space for the other there is a lot of talking and nobody being heard or valued… which just makes people shout louder or disengage.
Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash
We only have one context… our own. To see through the eyes of another is a very difficult thing to do. It takes a level of awareness and a holding on loosely to our own context. We need to work on being able to slow down and really SEE someone else.
Are you willing to let Jesus meet you where you are at? Are you willing to meet other people where they are at?