“When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things.” –Mark 6:34 (NIV)
One of my favorite things to do while traveling is people-watching. Whether it is while taking the public transit in the city, waiting at the airport for a flight, or walking the streets of a foreign country, I am always drawn to the faces of those who I pass by. I often wonder where they are going, where they have been, and what they must be experiencing now. It is this curiosity which draws me to people and I find it both a joy and an honour when people extend the hand of friendship and we exchange our stories with each other. Yet more and more I am coming to see people as souls in need of being in relationship with God their Creator, and that has added a whole new sense of urgency to tell others of the hope which is available through Christ.
Every day we encounter many faces. Some of them we do not know and only see for a brief second before they go their separate ways. Others we know quite well. They are our family, our friends, and our colleagues. Yet are they just faces to us? Are they but mere bodies which we are forced by circumstances to interact with? It is easy to think of people in generalization, where we can nicely fit them into our pre-conceived notions. But when we see people through the eyes of God, we see them as individuals uniquely and wonderfully made with souls that are made to be in relationship with Him. This calls us to a radical love that transcends all boundaries, yet this is a love which we can never work out in ourselves because of our sinful nature. It is only when we have allowed Christ to enter our hearts and have allowed Him to free us of our sinful nature that we are able through His Spirit to see people as how He sees them, as His precious creations in need of His restorative work. With His love overflowing from within us, His Spirit will compel us to show His compassion towards others and tell them of the eternal joy of knowing Christ as Lord and Saviour.
Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.