She had beautiful eyes, as blue as the sky on a perfectly clear winter day. I bet her husband swooned over them many a time. Her hair had just a trace of blond left among the yellow. Her skin was incredibly dented, wrinkled, worn. She was frustrated, feisty, tired out, 80-something years old.
She was looking for the free tax preparation, which this April happens is apparently housed on the 5th floor of the science building at the university where I teach. After she interrupted the class across the hall, she found me in office hours and started looking for tax help. Yesterday, during my one hour a week of solitude, it was not a very welcome interruption.
I happened to have a few quiet minutes with no students around. Something in me clicked, and paused. It was surreal. Supernatural? I listened, and noticed. Her eyes, her skin, her labored breathing, her complaints about doctors and blood pressure medicine and coughs. And I found myself wondering, what if this very woman was the Jesus I believe in? Jesus on the Chemistry floor during my office hours. Would I think her more beautiful, more important, worth taking time to listen to, talk to, and would I leave a chair out for her? For a few minutes, she became a glimpse of my humble God, and I stopped to make time for her.
What if I had that thought 5 minutes earlier? Would that book salesman I just talked to seem more of a valuable person than a salesman to be annoyed with?
Driving across town on my way home then, walking around the elementary school, greeting moms and grandmas, scooping up my own dirty-faced little boys. I glimpsed people in a way that I never have before. Not with long hair, or strange clothes, or worn, or small, or beautiful, but each the tiniest facet in a crazy glimpse of an unfathomable God.