This Sunday we showed a video as a way to call us to look at people in a new way.
20 years ago, psychologist Arthur Aron discovered that 4 minutes of looking into each other's eyes can bring people closer. He used this finding to help married couples fall deeper in love with each other. Imagine that: four minutes of just looking into each other’s eyes will strengthen your marriage.
Amnesty International recently used this discovery to carry out a simple experiment. They had refugees and Europeans sit opposite each other and look into each other's eyes for four minutes. The experiment took place in Berlin with ordinary people. The people sitting opposite each other had not known each other before and saw each other for the first time during the experiment. The refugees mostly came from Syria and had not been living in Europe for longer than a year. The five-minute video tells the story of how the experiment went. They did not stage these situations; all the reactions are natural and spontaneous.
So much of Matthew 25 deals with seeing (“Lord, when did we see you?”) so it’s important to see others. So much changes when we do that. What would change if we could see Christ in others? What attitudes would we lose; what new appreciation would we acquire?
This week someone also passed on this video that tells much the same story. Two people who believe polar opposite things are placed together, given a common task, and are asked to share their lives with each other. So many barriers fall away when you just talk respectfully. It's used to sell beer, so be aware that there is a pitch at the end.
Amnesty International and a beer company can draw people together for these kinds of conversations. Why can't the church be the place where these conversations take place and barriers fall away?
Christ came to help us see in a new way and to relate to each other in a new way. Let's not be afraid to do so. Let's start talking!