Rich Paxson

What does the world look like through the eyes of one who lives on the outer margins of society? From a distant vantage point, as if on a branch high up in a tree, I watch InvisiblePeople.tv chronicle the lives of many on the ground who are homeless, living on the streets.

Who is my neighbor? Riley’s InvisiblePeople.tv witness from her place on the streets of Toronto calls me like a distant song to hear what she hears, to see what she sees. https://youtu.be/3Tcs3QcNoww Riley’s witness to life on the streets entreats me to respond to similar sights and sounds not in her Toronto, but in my city, in my neighborhood. Riley’s witness comes into being in my neighborhood when I live not for myself but in response to the needs of others.

Through Riley’s eyes, the Forgiving Victim sees my sin, my scapegoating. The social other turns my gaze inward blinding me to the consequences of my self-centered obsessions. And yet, long before my life, Jesus affirmed God’s promise of love and compassion to that other tax collector, Zacchaeus. http://bible.oremus.org/?ql=352521627

When he came down from his perch in the sycamore tree, Zacchaeus saw life not only through his eyes but also through the eyes of Jesus, the Forgiving Victim. God’s promise of love and compassion is as real today as it was for Zacchaeus. Each of us is free to climb down from our perches above the fray to live into the daily ministry of God’s love and compassion.