She walks by me but I do not see the tears that are filling her heart. To me she looks like an outcast, hair a wreck, make-up smeared, and no facial expression whatsoever. I condescendingly think, “She looks pitiful.” I walk on by with my hair done nicely, my make-up fresh, and a smile on my face. I’m living in my own world, mentally checking off the church responsibilities that I have to do that week, not seeing the one that has silently passed by.
He sits slumped in the corner with a cigarette in his mouth, puffing away, with a look of anger and resentment in his face. I casually step to the other side of the street avoiding any confrontation. Judgmentally thinking how he is killing himself and others with his habit.
She patiently waits in line at the dry cleaners, polishing her three-carat diamond ring, humming some tune I recognize from Broadway. When the lady behind the counter asks for her name, she hesitates for a moment before laughing softly as she gives it. I think how lucky she is with her nice clothes and her big ring, silently envying what must be a luxuriant life.
What we don’t see, is what they long for us to see; they hope upon hope that we will reach out.
The woman who looks a mess wants to tell us that she has just miscarried for the third time and her husband of eight years is fighting for his life in the hospital up the street. She doesn’t tell us that she is down to her last hope, her one true love is dying and cannot even give her a hug she so desperately needs. And, we just hurry off “doing stuff for the Lord.”
The man in the corner has lost another job after just four days; he's been out of work for two years, and two days ago his wife left him for someone who could support her. He feels like all love is lost and no one has a care for him. In his drawer at his apartment is a gun that he contemplates to end his misery. Cigarettes are the only things that are keeping him stable, but we can’t see past the smoke and the pollution.
The lady dressed to a T, with the rock on her finger is neglected and alone. Her husband of fifteen years has left her with a hefty alimony but an empty, bitter heart. What she buys to soothe her hurts inside give her nothing but temporary pleasure. She longs for someone to love her as she’s always dreamed of, being loved by someone who would take the time to be with her. But we are mesmerized by her charmed life and don’t hear what she is not saying with her laugh.
Everyday, you and I pass someone much like these three, and each one of us have the one thing that they long for, are dying for, and dream of, JESUS. He is the hope that we can offer, His is the love that will complete and fill, where no human can. Many times our rejection of them is just absentmindedness, nothing intentional or with-holding. We just do not know that He needs us to find them. So, many times we just walk on by, avoid, or day dream them away.
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