Christmas Crowds

Posted by on Dec 5, 2013 in Christmas, Extraordinary Everyday People | 12 comments

people vs masses

 

People Watching has always been a favorite pastime of mine. Even back in high school my boyfriend and I routinely scheduled date nights to do just that – watch people. Of course at the time, the art of people watching also included a lot of sarcasm. To us, the material demanded it.

As we watched people parade by we critiqued their clothing, their hair, their size – everything. And everything was open to our cynical evaluation.

I still love to watch people but time has matured me beyond thinking they’re here for my amusement. While watching people for entertainment might be inappropriate – to not see them at all – seems tragic.

The Christmas season brings people out in droves. Our malls and highways become jammed with holiday shoppers and revelers. It’s easy to look out at crowds of people and see one combined mass, rather than individuals. But when people are viewed as a group, their faces tend to fade away. And nameless, faceless individuals are often those who become disregarded and undervalued.

The art of appropriate and respectful people watching was beautifully modeled by Christ. He had an eagle eye for the person buried in the crowd. He bothered to notice them – to see their faces and know their names.

A large mob of people can be transformed into individuals of worth when we take time to truly look into a person’s face. It causes us to remember we’re all alike. Each one of us share a common, humble beginning as helpless babies. We were each born into the same harsh world. And we are each here by design.

The mystery of the face is one of the most intriguing maps on the planet – and worthy of exploration.

More importantly, every person has value to God. And every person – no matter how annoying they might be, or different, or even humorous – should also have worth to us, simply because God values them.

Won’t you join me in asking God to give us his heart for people this Christmas?

Bother to know the name of someone you frequently see in the marketplace. Ask God to give you boldness to do something extravagant as you interact with people this year. When was the last time you simply let people move ahead of you in one of those long annoying lines? Why not look someone in the eyes and pray a blessing over them this Christmas. People matter, after all, they are us.

As you demonstrate the heart of Jesus this Christmas, ask him to lead you to individuals hidden within the masses. Seek, find and love one person at a time.

I’m fairly certain our Heavenly Father is people watching too.

 

(Please visit the the Comment Box and share your thoughts too)

 

 

12 Comments

  1. I enjoyed your post but wondering who this “boyfriend” was? What a cheapskate! What kind of boyfriend takes his girlfriend out to watch people?

    • Well, actually – I chose to marry the boy. He still makes me laugh, only never at someone. And although he doesn’t relish crowds – no one appreciates and honors people like he does.
      I’m still a cheap date though, and I know you appreciate that!

  2. I people watch too, sometimes all day long! When I see a look of anguish on someones face yet, they are acting out, I feel compassion. (Been there, done that, or should I say felt just like they are acting.) Yes, I agree Jesus people watches and I know He’s watching me as I greet each individual either with love and compassion OR being annoyed with them! Busy time of the year now but, we still need to remember, ” He is the reason for the season” and show those who don’t know Him that He is just that! Such a common quote but oh how true it is! MERRY CHRISTMAS!

    • I love the fact God doesn’t leave the responsibility of loving appropriately to us alone. He is with us – even in us. What a thought.
      Merry Christmas to you too!

  3. Beautiful look at something we all do, but with Godly eyes, not human eyes. You help me look at things in a different, deeper way. Thank you!!

    • Exactly what I’m praying for Cindy – his eyes! May we see others through his eyes of love.
      Merry Christmas to you, thanks so much for commenting.

  4. I’ve been a life-long people watcher…but had a personal surprise on a recent trip. I found myself fooling around with my cell phone (texting, organizing photos, finishing my word game, checking facebook) and realized that I wasted almost 30 minutes in Heathrow on such nonsense MISSING a perfect spot to watch, observe, and just be available to what could happen.I came to my senses right in time to see a gal drop her passport and boarding pass as her gate was announced and she was dashing down the corridor. It took a bit to catch up with her, but so worth the rush.

    Your post reminds me to GET MY NOSE OUT OF THE PHONE and ENGAGE. Might need a 12 step program for this…

    • Oh my goodness, isn’t that the truth! There’s a whole other layer to our missed connections, isn’t there. Maybe we need a revolt as much as a 12-step program. I’ve done ‘technology fasts’ in the past – but I can see a need for daily discipline with my devices too.
      Good story, D’Arcy.

  5. Do you ever find yourself just starting to pray for people when you watch? I start to think about who the person may be and what their life is like and I find myself talking to The Lord about them and then praying for them, single people eating alone, parents managing small children, an elderly person trying to walk, the person behind me in line that is impatient, teenagers around town, the person on the street corner asking for money. When I take the time to see others, it seems I can always offer up a prayer.

    • I love this!
      It makes me wonder how often I’ve been the recipient of someone’s prayers and didn’t even know it. What a wonderful thought. Have a Merry Christmas, Kim. Thanks so much for sharing.

  6. Thank you for turning something that can easily provoke me (crowded stores) into a reminder to see and treasure! Your writing blesses me every time! (and your frugal boyfriend rocks!)

    • You made me smile. Yes, my frugal boyfriend absolutely rocks! And you’re a treasure to me, Leanne.