A couple weeks ago, I was stopped at a light while on my way to the gym. Usually, I am frantic and, in a hurry, because I am always late. I don’t mean to be, but it seems to be my MO, like it or not. That day, though, I must have had plenty of time because I was relaxed and looking around.
I noticed a man at the corner, waiting for his light to change so he could cross the street. He was first. He walked in front of my car on his way across.
There was nothing about him, really, that I should notice him. He was dressed for winter with a heavy coat, hood, and backpack. I could tell he had a short, trim beard, and a cigarette hung from his mouth. I wanted to tell him that was very unhealthy for him and he should get rid of that habit. He probably would not have taken that well from a stranger.
Somehow, as he passed, I felt like a life walked by. Not a cardboard figure. Not a thirty-minute caricature like those we see on TV sitcoms. No, this was a man with a life walking by my car. With a past. A family. Dreams. Hopes. Disappointments. Overcomings. A future. Loved by God.
Much more than met my eye. Something sensed in the spirit.
Do we really see people?
Even when they walk right in front of us?
Nothing That We Should Notice
It reminds me of another person who was passed over some time ago. He was born and grew up pretty much unnoticed. He is still unnoticed.
“There was nothing attractive about him, nothing to cause us to take a second look. He was looked down on and passed over, a man who suffered, who knew pain firsthand. One look at him and people turned away. We looked down on him, thought he was scum. But the fact is, it was OUR pains he carried—OUR disfigurements, all the things wrong with us” (Isaiah 53:2b-4a The Message).
He suffered. For us. In spite of our blindness. He saw right through us to our cores and remedied what was wrong with us.