When I was a child, growing up in the Radnor Baptist Church in Nashville, TN, I learned to sing my faith before saying it. One of the hymns of discipleship featured this lyric:
"Let others see Jesus in you; let others see Jesus in you./
"Keep telling the Story, be faithful and true:
"let others see Jesus in you."
We do not practice our piety in order to be seen by them, but there is no way faithful disciples escape notice.
Still, I am thinking that if I were to rewrite that old hymn--and I cannot do such a thing, as I am not much of a lyricist or poet--I would want it to say something like this: Let me see Jesus in others.
Let me see Jesus in others--the kid who cuts me off in traffic, the condescending preacher or priest, the woman who works against my ministry, the family member who dismisses my life and calling. Let me see Jesus in them just the same.
Perhaps I will give up "expectation" for Lent, meaning I will not expect any of these or anyone else any reaction that I deem appropriate. I will not expect any particular courtesy, or respect, or standing. I will not expect anyone to defer to my age, my education, my "wisdom" (would that I HAD some to which people might defer). I will not expect anything of others--only of myself: that others may see Jesus in me: his compassion, his mercy, his long-suffering and patience, his self-sacrifice.
May God grant me to fulfill this Lenten vow, and even beyond Lent.