FIRST Thoughts

In reading through the book 'Outlive Your Life' by Max Lucado, toward the end of the book Max makes a statement that is worth our consideration each day. Max wrote, "Healthy, happy people don't hurt each other."

In a world where many families are at each other's throats over monetary or material issues, it is fitting that we remember that Jesus demonstrated His love for us in a way that gives us a much better alternative. Jesus showed compassion in His care for all people, not just the ones who may be considered as beneficial to our person or our progress in this world. Jesus didn't look down on others or overlook who they were. He saw them. He saw each as having a designed purpose. He helped them at the point of their need.

It is far too easy to see people around us through the filter of what they can do for us and not see them for who they are in God's image.

In the last chapter of the book, Max illustrates the point with a story of a master violinist who on one occasion took his position against a wall in a Washington D.C., metro station wearing jeans, a long-sleeved T-shirt, and a Washington National baseball cap. This young musician played for the next forty-three minutes performing six classical pieces.1,097 people passed by tossing in a total of $32.17. Of the 1,097 people, seven--only seven--paused longer than sixty seconds. And of the seven, one--only one--recognized the violinist, Joshua Bell.

This young musician had filled large music halls where people would pay huge sums of money for one ticket. However, on this busy day in D.C., few by comparison recognized him. Many saw him but most didn't see him for who he was. They didn't see his potential. Simply didn't take time to. Most of us will someday realize that we didn't either.

It has been said that we humans often sacrifice what is important on the altar of the urgent. Have you missed something important on your way to something urgent lately? I know I have. And each time, I miss His purpose in the process. Instead of helping, I add to the hurt.

Jesus left His exalted position in glory to dwell among us. He came dressed as a common man of common means. Some noticed His uncommon ways in caring for people from all walks of life. Most misunderstood. Most still do. That must not deter us from doing what Jesus did.

Max Lucado described compassion for people as 'the sign of the saved.' We help others find Jesus because we ourselves have been found by Jesus.

Healthy, happy people don't hurt each other, they take the time to help. And it begins with learning to walk more slowly through crowds and looking at them, not past them.

Consequently, our lives work in harmony with His. And the Master Composer makes a beautiful symphony of our life that lifts the spirit and refreshes the souls of those around us and those who participate in the process of our progress toward home.

May we demonstrate a deeper sensitivity of compassion this week in our journey with Jesus.


Pstr K

Psalm 27:1