People Watching

people watchingPeople watching can be a fascinating pastime. While waiting for my wife at places like the Mall or Wal-Mart, I try to finding an out-of-the-way place and just observe the passersby.

It seems to me that you can infer a lot about people by the way they walk. Some walk with a spring in their step and others move with a heavier, slower walk. You can see some dawdle and appear to lack a specific destination. There are those that move with at a brisk pace as with a specific purpose. You may see some move with a sad demeanor, while others walk with a happy and confident gate. I often wonder if I could get an in-depth look into the different lives, what I would really find.

My heart is especially moved by those who walk with a slow, somber deportment. Their body language seems to denote a troubled spirit. I sense a little of what Jesus must have felt in Mark 6:34, “And Jesus, when He came out, saw a great multitude and was moved with compassion for them, because they were like sheep not having a shepherd.” Often I have felt a prayer rising up in me for people that I don’t know and will likely never meet. Perhaps you have had similar feelings. May those feelings find a prayerful lodging place in our hearts.

Jesus was “moved with compassion”, not sympathy. It was more than just feeling sorry for them. He was moved with compassion for them. This compassion led to action. In Mark’s account, Jesus spent the rest of the day teaching the multitude. Later that afternoon, He fed them. We need to have compassion like Jesus had. We need to be moved to action. It is usually not difficult to find other Christians around us who strive to relieve both spiritual and physical needs of people. We may join with them or move forward on our own. But, do something we must!

In Luke 4:18-19, Jesus said of himself, “The spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He hath anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.” If we are to be a follower of Jesus, we must be compassionately engaged with Him in reaching out to those who need our help.

Prayer: Lord, let me be a co-laborer with you. I want to be more than just a ‘people watcher’. I want to work with You in ministering to those in need.

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