My pastor reminded us this week of how much of our lives are spent in crowds. I have an aversion to crowds--or so I thought--until he reminded us of the crowds we are surrounded by in our day to day lives. The crowd at church, the crowd at ballgames, the crowd while shopping, the crowd walking down the street, the crowd at the Y---we spend a great deal of time in crowds without consciously recognizing the hordes around us.
While standing in a crowd, a picture is made of the group.
Even a small group-crowd like this one, what is the first thing you look for? Why YOURSELF---OF COURSE! How do I look? Is this my best side? What was I thinking? What will people think when they see this picture of me? Everyone looks better than me. We have our eyes on our navels which is a reflection of our hearts. It is ALL about me.
When I sit in the massive crowd on Sunday, I am more concerned with me sitting alone--than those sitting around me. Everyone in the huge crowd has a story---some are in great pain--some are ill---some have experienced huge losses--some are broken--some are lost. With each face in the picture of a crowd there is a story--but we will never know those stories unless we stop looking at our own image. There is so much more to the world beyond the tip of our own nose.
Jesus looks at the crowd and sees each individual. He knows every story. He feels every pain. When He views the crowd, He sees not a mass of people--but each separate heart and soul. He stood in the crowd and called out individuals--not the masses--but one person at a time-He calls us by name.
I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me