Blessing someone in the middle of a crowd
How do you find being in a crowed space? Sandwiched between people on a tube train in London only for the door to open and a further twenty people clamber onto an already overcrowded train. Or that moment when one too many people get into the lift, it takes what seems a lifetime to get moving.
The majority of our lives are spent surrounded by other people; physically in work, at home, shopping centres, restaurants, in the church, we are constantly confronted by others. If not physically we are also digitally bombarded by ever increasing emails, texts, calls.
Jesus found himself in a similar place, the popularity of his ministry had grown and everybody wanted something from Him.
In Luke’s gospel it states ‘As Jesus was on his way, the crowds almost crushed him. A woman who was there who had been subject to bleeding for 12 years, but no one could heal her. She came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak, and immediately her bleeding stopped. “Who touched me?” Jesus asked.’ – Luke 8 v 42-45
As leaders, pastors or those involved in mission and ministry we can often relate to the demands that people placed on Jesus, clamouring for his attention. Often a natural reaction can be a feeling that “everyone wants a piece of us.” It is understandable to wonder how we can we possibly impact so many people, so much of the time, with so many demands which are placed upon us.
There is a danger that in our busyness, focus and desire to get things done, we can forget that incidental interactions matter. That in the midst of the crowds there is an individual who we get opportunity to bless. Thanking a colleague for their hard work, genuinely appreciating the roles that people do in the church or community, noticing someone who serves you.
As Jesus asked the question “who touched me?” it highlights he understood that as people came into contact with him it brought about transformational change. How do you view the people you come into contact with on a day to day basis? Do we allow God to reveal to us individuals in the masses who often go unnoticed in our everyday lives?
Jesus also demonstrated his attentiveness in the chaos and turmoil to notice what others didn't. He was able to identify and respond to the needs of one in the midst of many. Who has God brought into your life today, not by the way of a scheduled appointment or planned activity, who requires a touch from Jesus.
As followers of Jesus, we can’t afford for our attentiveness radar to be rendered ineffective by the pressures of the day. Rather than leadership that is reduced to us trying to gain attention for what we do, perhaps a greater aim would to be more attentive to what HE is doing!
Who is Jesus nudging us to recognise in our busy schedules?
Who are the people we pass daily who are easy to ignore?
How can we be more sensitive to the divine appointments God prepares for us?
Who needs you that you are not even aware of yet?
Question: What successful steps have you taken to reduce crowding out others? Leave a comment below.