The Gift of Seeing

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Some years ago, pastors Stuart and Jill Briscoe were visiting our World Relief staff in Cambodia. Their trip included visits with vulnerable Cambodian women for whom World Relief’s ministry was an oasis of hope.

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At one point, Jill rather abruptly turned her attention from the women to the scores of children scurrying about waiting for the cue that it was time to go home. Jill asked a simple but pointed question: “And what about the children?”

At the time our work in Cambodia was quite new and there were many details yet to be ironed out. The staff, recognizing that they had lost track of the children amid the intensive care of the mothers, were spurred to action.

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In time, the ministry to children became a core component of our World Relief program, drawing more mothers and impacting entire families. Over the years, cell churches were birthed from this work and there are now over 500 such churches in Cambodia, all because Jill Briscoe has the gift of seeing.

To see the potential and dignity in every person is a gift we must receive and then cultivate.

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It is not easy, however, to see through the debris of the tornado of our everyday lives. Advertising researcher Jay Walker-Smith says that the number of advertisements we are exposed to each day has increased from about 500 per day in the 1970s to now over 5,000 per day.

Layered over this is a self-induced barrage from television, internet, and social media. We are exposed to nearly every human experience and emotion in rapid-fire, with little to no time to process or engage at a human level.

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For most of us this impacts our daily interactions as well. People can become commodities. The person alongside us in the elevator, on the...
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