I was blessed recently to sit with a group of women who are digging deep into the word and into where their walls are that separate them from God. The conversations with women like this are different. Each of these women know they haven’t arrived.
As we sat and shared this word I am about to share with you, there was honesty and frankness about our own struggle to be more Christ like. There was no hiding our flaws. There was to hierarchy to be attained, just girls called by God to shine a light and know there are tons of things right now that dampen it. They are in it for hard conversations, to be stripped of flesh and be robed in Christ.
Let me set up our conversation today with some scripture references.
And when He came near the gate of the city, behold, a dead man was being carried out, the only son of his mother; and she was a widow. And a large crowd from the city was with her. When the Lord saw her, He had compassion on her and said to he, “Do Not weep.”
Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. But when He saw the multitudes He was move with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd.
Mathew 9: 20-22
And suddenly, a woman who had a flow of blood for twelves years came from behind and touched the hem of His garment. For she said to herself, “If only I may touch His garment, I shall be made well.” But Jesus turned around and when He saw her He said, “Be of good cheer, daughter, your faith has made you well And the woman was made well from that hour.
I am hoping you see a trend. Jesus actually saw people. How many of us know when Jesus sees you, it is no casual glance? In His ministry on this earth He took time to really see people. I am one called a Christian. This term was given as a “less than” term in the day. It meant “little Christ”. So if I am to be a little Christ, there is one question I must ask myself. Do I truly see people as I go on my journey? Do I see them clearly enough to engage in their need or their lack? Or is it more common for me to “glance” at them but not truly “see” them? I think I know the answer and yet these few verses I’ve listed show a different Jesus than I portray everyday.
I have one last reference for you and it’s one of my most favorite passages. It’s the passage of the prodigal son in Luke 15:11-20.
So much could be said about these verses…more than an email gives space for. But in the spirit of our discussion today, I want to note that the Father was looking for the wayward son. He was in fact, “looking” for Him to come back. When He saw him, he had compassion on him just like every other passage we have taken a look into today.
There are a few notes worthy to share as I look back on my own life. I have been a representation of the Father in the prodigal son story. I have also been the wayward son that needed to be seen and welcomed home. I have also been the older brother full of distain and lack of forgiveness. But here are my notes on Jesus “seeing” them and “having compassion”.
I need to slow down to truly see people. Does that resonate with anyone? How can I see them and truly meet a need if all they receive from me is a glance?
I glance alot!
But do I really see them?
I have work to do my friends.
Are we looking for someone to see? I know that makes no sense on the first reading of it but read it again. Are we looking for someone to see? Who are we looking for? Anybody? Or are we just trying to get through our own junk and hoping to get out of the day unscathed? If we get in the bed at night and we’ve avoided the big sins and all the family is well, sometimes we can breathe deep but who did we “not see”? Let’s put it another way… who did we look past?
Here are my preaching points to myself.
Marni, (insert your name as the Holy Spirit applies)
as a woman called by God to impact and influence her circle, you are called to be my hands and feet. That requires you to see my people who are hurting. If you bear my name, you are expected to love like I have loved you. I sat with the broken, the dirty and rejected. If you won’t even slow down to see them how are you going to step in, meet a need and then get the opportunity to tell them about me?
God, I know I have to truly see people. This will require me to slow my roll. In the age of checking boxes of ministry, we count how many times we picked up the microphone! Picking up the mic won’t meet needs of those outcast, wayward and broken. Jesus, your ministry looked a whole lot different than what we call “ministry” today. Help me get back to that!
Marni, (insert your name as the Holy Spirit applies)
I know you struggle with worth and ability but I’ve called you to speak my name. You are so focused on your idols that have gripped your self worth that you are afraid to step away from the “norm” and BE ME. You are afraid to be different and bold. I looked like none of the religious leaders in my day and I was doing my Father’s work. Are you willing to take a hit for my name?
God, you are still plucking idols from my life so no one else gets my attention. Help me be bold! Help me to truly see people. Jesus, help me be like you so that I don’t mind setting with a woman who has staged herself at the well because she is an outcast. God, help me to look for the most wretched in my city like the prodigal son. Help me to be looking for him!!!! Help me to welcome Him back! This is what you look like. You see!!
You see me and you loved me…
Help me carry that to all the world.
Who do you need to see?
Do you need to slow down to take an intentional look at someone?
He sees you….
Love like what He’s seen you through….
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