“I came to a new understanding why Jesus passed up the religious establishment of his day, the economically secure, the socially prestigious, and sought out the poor, the outcast, the sinner, the broken, the sick, the lonely. He felt, as we so often do not feel, their sorrow. He was acquainted, as we too seldom are, with their grief. On Calvary he died of a broken heart. But that heart was broken long before Black Friday, by the desolation of the common people. “In all their afflictions, he was afflicted.”

Most of the time we are not. We seem to have quite a different conception of life. We avoid as much as possible the unpleasant. We shun the suffering of others. We shrink from any burdens except those which life itself inescapably thrusts upon us. We seek arduously the wealth and power that will enable us to secure ourselves against the possibility of being involved with another’s affliction. Lazarus sometimes makes his way to our door step. We toss him a coin and go on our way. We give our charities but we do not give ourselves. We build our charitable institutions but we do not build ourselves into other’s lives.” (From The Captivating Presence by Albert Edward Day)

My prayer is every increasingly growing that I would see people through the eyes of Christ. I used to hear my pastor say, “Every person is a candidate for Christ.” I don’t want to see people as scenery on my highway of life. People matter to God, so people should matter to me.

I’ve come to realize that everywhere I look people are hurting. People have physical, emotional and primarily spiritual needs. I’m continually reminded where Jesus spoke about looking out at the crowd of people as “sheep that were harassed and helpless… sheep without a shepherd.”

What a great responsibility and privilege I have as a Christian who the Shepherd rescued, to point other sheep to that same Great Shepherd. To walk with people through the difficulties of life to the place of entering in to those difficulties… in order to share the hope that I have found in the Gospel.

I’ve got a long way to go… but praying that day by day the scales fall off and the captivating beauty of Christ and the power of the Gospel would first impact my heart so that I can love God and love others.

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