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"I Can't Unsee That"

February 28, 2022
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I can’t unsee that.

You have said it. You have been somewhere at sometime and seen something that left you visually shocked and shaken. The next words out of your mouth hold commentary on the image that will remain in your mind forever. "I can't unsee that." We have all been there. I am going to step outside the box for a moment and suggest we go there more often.

You may be asking why in the world you would want to purposely look for things to see that are so surprising that you cannot get the image out of your head? Why in the world would you seek out something so impactful you can’t forget it? Hmm.

Because Jesus told us to in two simple words. Love people. One of the best ways to love people? See something you can’t unsee—like someone else’s point of view. See life through their eyes. Instead of seeing the way they dressed today, see the story of how formal clothes hurt the surgery scars from the Cancer. Instead of seeing their bad attitude, see the pain they may be feeling from a broken marriage. Instead of seeing a problem child, see the childhood they were robbed of when their mother died and their father ran. Instead of seeing that co-worker who must steal the show every chance they get, see someone who is terrified no one will love them if they see who they are deep inside. You can’t unsee that.

When you take a moment to see someone’s story, the struggles, the heartaches, the humanity that you share, you will find unexpected compassion. You will find unwavering patience. You will find sincere acceptance. You will find someone Jesus loves—just as much as He loves you.

Is that why Jesus had so much compassion? Because He had eyes to see and ears to hear? Is that why He challenges us to do the same? If we wake up each day and say we are followers of the one who viewed the world through the eyes of those who were suffering, then shouldn’t we be doing the same? Shouldn’t we be trying to see what we cannot unsee?

You will not forget what you learn. Broken hearts are hard to forget.

This is an area I could use some work in. I will stand up first to say I have often judged someone’s behavior before knowing their why. I have thought thoughts and given looks and made comments to myself . . . and sometimes comments to others. I have felt the guilt of learning someone’s story after-the-fact and witnessed the pain I caused when I spoke before I knew.

You may be asking how we are supposed to know everyone’s story before you speak? How are you supposed to know who is suffering and who is not? That one is easy. We all are.

We all have lost love. We all have been embarrassed, broke, ashamed. We all have worn what we had, paid what we could, ran the schedule that we had to, done only what our bodies would allow. We ALL have a burden and a cross to bear. When you see the cross someone is carrying—you cannot unsee that.

You may not be able to hear everyone’s story or see their view, but you can see yours. You have a mirror. The person in the mirror was made in His image, just like them. The person in the mirror is broken, tired, regretful, and hurting just like them. The person in the mirror is doing their best in this really hard world, just like them.

So, when you head out today on whatever adventure this life is taking you to and through, find something you can’t unsee. You will never see it the same again.

Shannon Leach is an inspirational encouragement writer and the owner of A Repurposed Heart. She writes both fiction and nonfiction stories about leadership, life, and loving people in order to encourage others and remind them they are not alone.
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