For as long as I can remember I've possessed the kind of intuition that tends to observe disconnects between a person's projected external persona and their internal state. I blame it on the fact that my fascination with people morphs me into a data-collecting demon who exhausts herself intensely soaking in all that's verbal while intently scoping out what's not. My computation skills aren't foolproof and don't necessarily come with accurate understanding of why things aren't adding up; but even my man who knows I'm numerically challenged enough not to ever be entrusted with an equation admits that, when it comes to people, this wife has some serious spidey-sensing skills.
Accountants are obsessed with facts that can be seen and heard, so the conversations my husband and I have about my intuitive data collections can range from dangerously exasperating to downright entertaining. But in spite of our processing the world in two different spheres, his growth in not underestimating intuition and mine in not undervaluing facts has us functioning as a formidable team. While our distinct personality designs don't exactly facilitate flawless functioning, the "checks in my spirit" are met with a balance that leaves us both loving others more kindly, rightly and wisely than we would on our own.
Although "seeing through people" can be a gift of discernment useful for stirring humble love and charitable concern, I've learned how reckless it can be if it instead stirs graceless assumption and prideful judgment. I've witnessed how easily the load of data can derail my train of intuition if I don't keep before me the fact that, regardless of the legitimacy of what I'm seeing in someone, there's much more I'm unable to see— including a history unknown to me and an earthly future unknown to them.
Most of us carry a sincere desire to love others well, a desire that often falls short because of a failure to offer careful consideration to the hidden spaces of a person's life. Dealing with the observable limitations of the present, our natural inclination is to neglect acknowledgement of both the power of their unseen past and the potential of their unforeseeable future. This failure never negates the existence of these hidden spaces, but by default has the past and future being unjustly met with the judgment of the present.
Surrender To The Past
Love acknowledges that every person has a history that is hidden from the eye, a history that always bears its mark upon the heart. Sometimes that bearing of history encourages one to fast forward too freely, sometimes to pull back too protectively; sometimes it leaves tender wounds that dismantle the heart in warm sensitivity, and sometimes tough scars that defend the heart in cool insensitivity.
With patience and kindness, love surrenders itself to the great unknown that has left its mark upon the heart. Refusing to pridefully stand on assumption and ignorant judgment, it humbly covers the unseen spaces of history with the warmth of kind compassion.
Surrender To The Future
Love also acknowledges that every person has a future that is hidden from the eye. If that person is a Christian, love is confidently fueled by the promise of sanctifying grace that will one day leave them perfectly glorified. But it's a humble love, one that acknowledges the existence of unseen space between a person's present condition and their final destination; unseen space between a Christian's present sanctification and future glorification. With intentional expectancy, love fills the darkness of that space with the light of hope.
Whether soaring with intuition or grounded in facts, genuine love in the present will always bow in surrender to the unknown. And as the white flag of humility is raised, it will fall as a beautiful covering of grace over the secret spaces of life. A white flag of humility that will delicately cover the past with gracious compassion as it delightfully covers the future with expectant hope.
This is about the Church's call to love as Christ has loved us. A love so deep and wide that, regardless of whether or not circumstances allow us to wisely stand in the middle of a person's present, its rich flow from our heart will reach their past with compassion and their future with hope. This is about embracing truth that informs us that without the humble surrendering to what we know to be concealed, we will never lovingly process what we believe to be revealed.
Lord, may you grant us the grace to remain mindful that there is more than meets the eye. Thank you for teaching us to humbly surrender to the unknown.