I See Harassed People


Matthew 9:36-38. When He saw the throngs, He was moved with pity and sympathy for them, because they were bewildered or (harassed and distressed and dejected and helpless), like sheep without a shepherd.

blog picture harrassed peopleI asked the Lord to let me see people through his eyes. I wanted to see people the way He sees them. Over the next few days I noticed a change in my perception. The person I would have previously perceived as someone with malice, I now saw as somebody broken hearted, or frightened or needing affirmation. I found myself saying “I can understand that”, when before, I would have been critical.

Timothy 2:24. And the servant of the Lord must not be quarrelsome (fighting and contending). Instead, he must be kindly to everyone and a mild tempered preserving the bond of peace; he must be a skilled and suitable teacher, patient and forbearing and willing to suffer wrong.

I’ve learned that I don’t know the secret sorrows and stresses in the lives of the people I run across every day. It’s easy to take personally a sullen look from a stranger when that sullen look simply reflects a grieving person or a tired or discouraged person.

On the day I lost my job a number of years ago, I went out grocery shopping. I was downcast that day. I knew the Lord would help me but I was still suffering from the sting of having lost my job. How did I look to other people? I don’t know. I might have looked sad, numb, a little lost or maybe just neutral. Nobody around me knew what I had suffered that day. It would’ve been great to have gotten a smile from a stranger that day. I needed it.

So we don’t know when we go out, whether to church, school or work or shopping, what’s going on in the hearts of the people around us. But Jesus gives us a hint when he says they looked “harassed and dejected” to Him. We need Jesus’ perspective. After he saw that sad looking crowd he went right to work to heal, comfort, teach and bless and refresh. Let’s do the same.

Jesus is Lord!