Images of Christ in Those Around Us…and in Ourselves


I was looking through old photographs the other day. Yes, actual have-them-developed-and-hold-them-in-your-hand type of photographs.

Many of the people in those images are no longer part of my life. Some have died. Some have moved on, and some I simply let go.  The people who fell into these categories were the ones who stayed in my thoughts long after I put the album away.

How many of those photos represented the last time I would see that particular person? Did I take the time to talk with them? Or was I so busy that I figured I would touch base with them next time…only there wasn’t a next time.

Today may be the only chance I have to touch another’s life, whether it be a family member, a friend, or a stranger. Today may be my only chance to be compassionate. To listen. To brighten someone’s day.  To overlook their flaws. To forgive. God may have put me in that person’s path specifically for this purpose.  If we are to evangelize a broken society, it is imperative that every Christian grab these opportunities.

Saint Teresa of Calcutta saw Jesus in the dying man she pulled off the filthy streets and bathed; in the old, abandoned woman she visited; in the children she fought to feed.  Because she embraced them as she would Our Lord, she was able to reflect Jesus to those same people.

We can’t bring people to Jesus–to convert their hearts is the job of the Holy Spirit–but we can bring Jesus to people. In fact, we are called to do this. We are called to be Jesus for our neighbors, and we do so when we look at them through His eyes.

When light first enters a camera, the image is upside down and backwards. That’s the way we see the world–distorted and confused by our own concupiscence. Inside the camera, the addition of a second, mirrored glass element flips the image back to its original orientation. In the same way, seeing people through Jesus’ eyes–through a Jesus lens–corrects our imperfect vision and shows us that person as Jesus sees him or her.

That woman next door may be snippy, and all I see through my distorted view is a rude, angry person. If, rather than dismiss her, I listen to her for five minutes, I may learn that she forgot to buy an important ingredient for tonight’s dinner. Now she has to pick her child up from school and won’t be able to correct the omission. Through the Jesus lens, I see a person who is in pain. Worried. Harried. I may have just what she needs in my refrigerator, or maybe she just needs to vent. Either way, I can bring her peace.

Maybe that quiet man in the corner of the room (the man whose name I never remember) never mingles with the group.  I see an unsociable misfit, possibly someone who is bored with me.  Once I look through my Jesus lens, I might discover that he recently lost his wife, and he misses her terribly. She was the social one. A hello and a smile from me may change his outlook on the day. It may let him know that he’s not destined for loneliness.

The image of Jesus in the people around us leads to the image of Jesus in ourselves and vice-versa. It’s a circle of continuous giving. As Christians, that formula must inform every encounter we have today. When we see Jesus is in every person we meet, when we view them through our Jesus lens, we will in turn introduce them to Jesus.  What a wonderful gift.

© Jacqueline Vick 2016

Jacqueline Vick

Jacqueline Vick

Jacqueline Vick is a devout Catholic, wife to a wonderful guy, pet parent to a troubled mutt, and mystery writer. Her website is

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