Years ago a good friend of mine was being deployed to the Gulf War. He and his fiancée were in the final stages of planning their wedding. In fact they were moving their furniture into their new apartment when Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait. Suddenly he was being deployed. He said that driving through town and stopping to pump gas he felt like he was invisible. His whole world was falling apart and no one even noticed.
All around us people are hurting. Their worlds are falling apart. They feel like no one even notices. We are guilty of tuning them out. We focus on our world and ignore the pain around us and there is no pain greater than a lost relationship.
The struggles our world is facing today are relationship struggles. Who is hurting who?
Jesus approach is so different. From the very beginning when Adam and Eve sinned they felt the wedge driven between them and their beloved Lord. Distraught they ran and hid. But, God comes to reconcile them to him. He covers their shame and promises to save them.
Throughout the Gospels, we see Jesus, so in tune with what people need that he hears their thoughts, answers their prayers even when they hide their request. Oh, that we had such insight.
Jesus sees our need as so important that He forces the issue. He sets his goal and determines to finish the course. He turns his focus to our needs and resolves to restore our relationship with him.
So many people shut out, cut off, alienated, abandoned, and left alone. Jesus chooses to reconnect with us so that we can reconnect with others.
His connection to us frees us to connect with others, because he is focused on my salvation I can be free to focus on the needs and hurts of others. It starts with taking the time to stop thinking of my wants and needs and consciously focus on the needs of someone else.
It starts with shifting our focus from inward to outward. Instead of saying what does our church need we say what do the people of our community need?
May the Holy Spirit, give each of us compassion and insight into the needs of those around us.