A woman is sitting on the side of the road with a bag in her hand and a child at her side. People drive by with not even a second glance. Nobody notices that she is crying and her child is trying to comfort her the best way he or she knows how. She has no clue where to go or what to do. The only life she has known for ten years no longer exists. She has no other family members, and all her friends have turned their backs on her. She picks herself up and walks on.
A man is walking around in the store with a pair of ripped jeans, holes in his shirt, and a hat turned down. People walk past him without seeing him. They don’t see he is trying to add the prices of the milk, eggs, and bread to see if he has enough money to feed his family. People walk by on their phone with a call from a friend who wanted to complain about their job or a family member. “How dare that person be in my way? He is just standing there looking at his cart! UGH I’m in a hurry, and he is making me late!” This is what the man hears as a tear slowly finds its way down his face. He quickly decides that he doesn’t have the money for one of the items but is unsure which one is least important and walks off.
The person returns home after driving past the woman with her child and passing the man in the store. They put their few items away and sign on to their computer. They spend the next two hours catching up on all of their “friends” on whatever networking page they have. They have a hard time picking who to say what to and how to respond to a post.
My heart is troubled by a couple of things. It is interesting how they seem to fit together most of the time. Years ago I’m sure there were other “good reasons” not to notice. However, in this day and age, we have become more of a technology-driven society. The two examples I provided about people not being seen, happens every single day. Maybe not in the same exact circumstances but there is always pain. The person rushing by his or her day not noticing, for one reason or another, happens more and more every day. We have become so busy with our own lives that we don’t even notice or pass judgment on the appearance of others.
Another thing I have noticed, we are people that if a good friend is in need or trouble, we do everything possible to help them out. Our hearts break for them, and we wish we could take their pain away. This is a really good thing, don’t get me wrong. Nevertheless, there is hurt and pain all around us. There is always somebody that is in need of something. It just may not be as evident as others.
I am reminded of how God tells us to look at others:
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” ~ Philippians 2:3-4 (NLT)
It tells us that we must VALUE others. What does value actually mean? It means, the regard that something is held to deserve; the importance or preciousness of something. HMM so basically again He is telling us to treat them more important than ourselves. He tends to say that a lot! Look a little further. He tells us not to do it with our own interests in mind. We don’t do it to make ourselves look better. We need to do it because we genuinely WANT to do it and because, in the words of an old song, we may be the only Jesus, some may EVER see!
So, my challenge to you is …… put down your phone, pay attention at the store or where ever you may be and REALLY notice people. OPEN your eyes and see into a person. This week as you are out and about, I’m going to ask you to not be on your phones while checking out. Talk to the clerk. Say hi or smile as you pass people. You can ALWAYS call that person back or chat with him or her online another time. See with the eyes of God and you might be amazed at what you see!
This song says it so very well!