During times of trouble, the church has historically run toward the fire. As you navigate this pandemic and the trials it brings to your everyday life, what does it look like for you to run toward the fire? As a ministry working with Christian leaders, we see it as running toward people.
And running toward people begins with noticing those around us. Recognizing another person is a powerful gift. We all have a tremendous need to be seen. And we are not talking here about a need for more trophy ceremonies or high achievement markers; we have plenty of those in our culture. We are talking about a human need to be known and noticed by someone.
When we have been noticed—picked out of the crowd as Jesus did for Zacchaeus—we begin to become people who notice others. We see their painful wounds or hidden dreams, becoming for them agents of healing and empowerment. One doesn’t need a degree to do this; one only needs courage and the capacity to ask good questions and listen patiently.
Who are the people you are already surrounded by, the men and women on the edges of your attention, with whom God might be inviting you to walk more closely? Perhaps they are in your neighborhood; perhaps you sit near them in Sunday morning worship or at your favorite restaurant.
Look around your sphere of influence with an eye for Jesus. For by his Spirit, Jesus continues to move in and through crowds of people, noticing others just like he did in the Gospels (Mark 5:24-34; Luke 19:1-10).
The simple act of noticing others is a big deal in the kingdom of God. Let us be God’s particularizing people amidst this isolating and unsettling season, in Jesus’ name.