What I See In You I See In Me

"Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye?" 
 - Matthew 7:3

Nearly twenty years ago, as part of a spiritual retreat, I met a man named Dale, who was one of the most loving people I've ever known.  

Dale was one of the leaders of the retreat, and he was instrumental in my coming to terms with my own spiritual and religious baggage.  And I had a lot of baggage.  

I learned a phrase from Dale that has stuck with me all through the years:  "What I see in you, I see in me." Dale would quietly insert this phrase every time we would start to rail about the difficult people in our lives.  

Me: "She is so frustrating... she never listens to me, and then always wants to give me advice." 
Dale: "What I see in you, I see in me."  

Me: "That guy drives me crazy, he's so full of himself." 
Dale: "What I see in you, I see in me."  

What Dale was doing each time he did this was providing us with a grace-filled reminder that we needed to be self-examined before we began to examine others.  

He didn't say it exactly, but he was helping us to remember the words of Jesus to get the big log out of our own eyes before we began pointing out the speck of dust in the eyes of others.  

What I've come to learn is that until we are honest about our own brokenness and frailty we aren't able to fully experience and share the great love that God is constantly pouring out into the world all around us.    

Alice Fryling once wrote: 
Our spiritual blind spots are not just a matter of stumbling and bruising the knees of our soul.  Our blind spots keep us from knowing the love of God
 I constantly need to be reminded that the specks I see in the eyes of others---the traits, foibles, and nuances that cause me to rise up in anger, to feel frustrated, ashamed or confused--are the very things that are most likely logs in my own eye.  

May you take the time today to examine the blind spots in your life.  May you do the hard work of self-examination that is truly an act of self-love.  May you begin to see yourself in others and find peace and joy in those intimate connections.  

And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.  


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