Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | November 1, 2008

Heather’s Challenge

   One of the things I love about Jesus is that He walked slowly among the people. He walked at a pace that allowed Him to see people clearly and made Him accessible to others. Even children could keep up with Jesus. He lived life within the reach of hurting humanity. His steps intersected with a tax collector in a tree and a woman at a well and, as a result, both lives were changed. He took the time to deposit personal interest in the depleted accounts of neglected and lonely people. He often followed the roadmap of pain to help lepers and blind men and others burdened by hurt. He took the time to care.

   Heather Mercer shared a challenging thought with our team at one of our morning devotionals in Kurdistan. She challenged us to do three things as we engaged with people throughout the day. First, look into the eyes of others and notice the color of their eyes. Second, remember the names of those you meet. And finally, make people smile. That’s quite a challenge, especially for people accustomed to moving through life at a pace so fast that people look blurry. In order to do any of the things Heather challenged us to do we must learn to walk slowly among the people — slow enough to look into their eyes, learn their names, and deposit the kind of interest in their hearts that will register in a smile.

   Mark recorded an account of a miracle that Jesus performed in two stages (Mark 8:22-26). A blind man was brought to Jesus at Bethsaida. Jesus took the man aside, spit on his eyes and laid hands on him, and then asked him if he could see anything. The man replied that he could see men, but they looked like trees walking about — an indication that his sight was blurry. Jesus laid His hands on the man’s eyes a second time and, as a result, the man could see everything clearly.

   I know that Jesus could have healed the blind man with one touch. Instead, He chose to touch the man a second time. I’m glad He performed this particular miracle in two stages because it serves to remind us that insight often comes slowly. Most of us move through life so fast that the people around us look like trees walking about. We cannot distinguish the color of their eyes or any other features. That’s why we should ask Jesus to touch our eyes a second time so that we might see others clearly and with greater insight. Only then will we notice the color of their eyes, remember their names, and make them smile. So, slow down a bit and accept Heather’s challenge. It will make a difference in your life and in the lives of others.

• • • • •

PS | Pastor Alex and I leave for Uganda on Monday. Please pray for us as we meet with the staff of The Comforter’s Center and talk with local leaders about the sanctity of human life. I will try to post from Uganda as I have opportunity.


  1. I am reading your post message, Heather’s Challenge.

    We are praying for your Uganda trip, for safty journy, and back to the USA.


  2. I feel as if I am right there with you as you describe what you are experiencing. My heart goes out to you and those to whom you minister. God wants to teach me so much if only I will take the time to listen.

  3. Omar, I am especially touched by your reference to Heather’s advice to make someone smile. In these perilous times, whether at home or abroad, we are daily meeting people who do not like us, whose background and indoctrination make them see us as an enemy, someone they should perhaps even kill if given the chance. This is terribly hard for a Christian to grasp, but it’s true.

    However, it seems to me that Heather is right – if we can engage those people, look into their eyes, and ultimately cause them to smile, it will be difficult for them to continue to hate us. Perhaps I’m too optimistic, but surely there is some truth here.

    God bless and keep you, always.

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