‘… one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.’ Ephesians 4.6
This verse says something very profound and challenging to us - God is in all people. This means that every single person you meet has something of the presence of God within them. However, there are a couple of challenges in this.
The first is that you probably don't see God’s presence in every person you meet! They may have made no response to God or even be downright hostile to him. In what way do they carry his presence? Quite simply, we all carry the presence of God because we are his unique creations, and like any work of art we reflect something of the one who created us, even if we have no recognition of it ourselves.
The second challenge is this - how do we respond to the fact that God is in every person we meet? The answer is to do with showing them honour; giving them the respect and value due to someone who embodies the wonder and presence of God. After all, they are dearly loved by the Father, and Jesus died for them as much as for the deeply penitent sinner.
One of the best means of demonstrating love for people in a practical way is to be attentive to them; seeking to engage with them and, whether they realise it or not, honouring them as bearers of the presence of God.
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The Revd John Ryeland, Director of The Christian Healing Mission