ARE YOU JUST ANOTHER FACE IN THE CROWD?
The face of the grocery store clerk. The one who calls you honey or sweetie or some other endearing term. Frosty, blonde hair, with wrinkles around her eyes permanently etched there from all the friendly smiling. But deep inside she’s a stressed-out single mom, hoping they don’t cut her hours any more or she won’t be able to pay her bills.
The face of your co-worker you pass by in the hallway at the office. Youthful, vibrant, an ambitious fire in his eyes mixed in with a bit of mischief in this young millennial. Underneath it all, he’s freaking out because his girlfriend just told him she might be pregnant.
The face of the elderly gentleman at the nursing home. Lips and cheeks sunken in because he’s not wearing his teeth. The blank stare that says “I’m not really here…but I’m still alive…barely.”
The face of the little girl who gets on the bus. Hungry. Tired. Left out. Forgotten. Unimportant to most everyone in her world.
The face of the teenage girl. Loaded with makeup. Eye shadow almost as dark as night. Eye liner perfectly outlining her beautiful blue eyes. Blush as bright as the cherry on top of an ice cream sundae. Candy apple red lipstick even brighter. Longing to be loved. Looking for that love in all the wrong places.
The face of the middle aged man. The pages of his hard life’s story are written all over his face. He’s not nearly as old as you think he is. The years of drinking and smoking and drug abuse have aged him—and not at all gracefully.
You don’t know their names. You don’t know their stories. They’re nameless, even faceless people you see—but don’t see—here, there, and yonder. They pass you by without a single glance, or nod, or smile from you. And there’s billions of them in the world.
The face of a very sick woman. A woman who’d spent every dime trying to get well. But, no. She’s but one of the billions. She’s miserable. She’s running on empty. She’s desperate. So desperate, in fact, she goes on a search. Looking for something…anything. But nobody in the crowd notices. Why would they? They’re just like you…and just like me.
In a last ditch effort to be noticed by someone in the crowd, and perhaps feel an ounce worth and value again, she grabs hold of somebody’s coat.
“Who touched me?” the man said.
Aha! Alas…she was noticed. Not only was she noticed, but the man whose coat she grabbed went looking for her among the crowd. Sounds frightening, doesn’t it? But maybe, in a weird sort of way, that’s what she wanted. When the man finally found her, she told him her whole story. And you know what? He listened to her whole story. Word for word. He heard the struggle. He heard the brokenness. He heard the rejection. He heard the shame. He saw the tears in her eyes. He saw them roll down her leathered face.
Her face? Yes, her face. He saw her face. And it’s in this face he looked with the greatest sincerity and compassion and said, “Daughter, you took a huge risk today. But you’re now healed and whole. Be at peace. Live well. Lived blessed.”
For this woman, to be another nameless, faceless person in the crowd was well worth the risk that day. You see, Jesus was in the crowd. And He noticed her. He saw her face. He looked her in the eye. And He blessed her.
Faces in the crowd. Do you dare notice them? Do you dare look them in the eye?
You are a face in the crowd. Jesus notices you. Jesus sees your face. And Jesus says to you—one of the billions—“Be at peace. Live well. Live blessed.”