The other night I was reading Luke 14 and watching Jesus to see what he was up to. It seems like almost every time I’m with him, he does something so totally different than what I normally do, that it kind of shocks me. Even though he was with some “important” people on the day I was reading about, he took the time to notice and interact with a man who had spent most of his life being overlooked. Jesus affirmed this man’s value and then helped him in a tangible way.
He told a story too, about welcoming to dinner people who aren’t usually invited. His key phrase was “They won’t be able to return the favor.” So what does that mean, and how do these two incidents fit together? I think he’s saying, with his words and his actions, that God sees everyone as important. He has time for people. He has time for me. He will sit beside me and help me when I feel handicapped or insignificant or like I have nothing to give back – mentally, physically, emotionally, socially. He connects with me there, so what do I do with that? How do I communicate that to somebody else? Maybe by climbing inside his head and looking at people the same way. Seeing if there is something I can do. Noticing people who are usually overlooked – deciding that they are important because Jesus went out of his way for them, knowing they couldn’t return the favor.
I don’t want to be the kind of person who ignores people, although I’ve probably done that a lot in my life. I want to deliberately notice people – in the way that Jesus did. I don’t think he’s telling me that I have to be bosom buddies with everyone or spend every waking moment affirming them. I just need to communicate caring, even in small ways. I don’t need to be so dismissive. I want to watch Jesus to see what he is saying with his words and actions, and then look around to see how I can communicate that as well. I may not always do it right, but I can try.