In the early 1980's when I came to know the Lord I read this book by Keith Miller titled "A Second Touch." It had to do with the Lord's healing the blind man of Bethsaida. The incident is recorded in Mark 8:22-26.
First the Lord spits on the man's eyes and then lays His hands on the man. The Lord asks the man if he can see and the man says he can see men but they are like trees walking around. Next the Lord touched the man again and the man began seeing clearly.
Miller draws on this story to reflect on how we often see people that are in our life as mere objects and not real people. It is the second touch by the Lord that enables us to see people as real human beings rather than just objects.
Our modern, urban life doesn't help us very much either. When we place our order at a drive through speaker we are talking to a disembodied voice that may or may not be very understandable. Calling any company often lets you talk to a computer first and sometimes only.
In the country we used to wave at each other when we passed and often we knew each other. In the city there are too many cars and we're pretty lucky if we know who lives on either side of us.
We see someone at an intersection holding a sign painted with the words "work for food" and we think not much more about it than if the man were a light pole.
If we are watching TV and we learn someone is a liberal or a Republican or some other label then we immediately stop listening because we think we know what those labels mean. And the same can be said all too frequently about race and size and accent and sex and a bunch of other stuff.
I've remembered that book by Miller and that story about the blind man of Bethsaida for a long while now.
Lord I pray You touch me again and again until those people I see are more than trees walking about.