Douglas John Hall, in his excellent book titled Thinking the Faith, writes of the necessity incumbent upon disciples of Jesus to acknowledge others as “bearers of worlds”, to honor those we encounter as individuals to whom the world has uniquely presented itself. This unique experience gifts each of God’s image-bearers with “a unique face of worldly reality.”
Hall goes on to argue for a special exertion on the part of the disciple community to appreciate the world seen through its victims. He writes:
Divine grace not only frees us from self so that we may begin to see life through the eyes of others, but it would direct us to view our world in particular from the vantage point of those who are most vulnerable to its moods and its malaise: the poor, the politically and economically oppressed, the weak and disadvantaged — in short, the victims. The disciple community is required by the very liberation claims that it investigates to acquire — what most human beings prefer to avoid — a closer, more informed, imaginative, and committed acquaintance with the world as it makes itself present to those who are most susceptible to its pain.
May the church hear the prophetic call to a more immediate commerce with the world.