Everyday They Pass Me By

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Now and then that song passes my mind–People Need the Lord–especially when I find myself sitting somewhere and looking at people passing me by. Yesterday I accompanied my dear wife to a pawnshop in Cubao and while waiting for her I watched people come and go along the sidewalk. I watched their faces and noticed certain details about them, particularly what emotions seemed conspicuous.

For every person I watched a whole life story passed by. Everyone of them was a walking life story. They all went home to a family with dreams and struggles and fun and problems. Each one of them had their own peculiar life interests and issues. They carried them in their thoughts as they mingled with the rest of society.

When people walk alone in the streets, they mostly have sad or serious faces. Sometimes I imagine how the deepest concerns in their hearts registered in their subconscious naturally manifest when they walk alone, and they’re probably not aware about it. So I wondered–if I, a stranger, suddenly approached and greeted them, how would they react? Would the sad expression disappear or worsen?

Sometimes, I do experiments like that. I stare at them. And when they catch me doing that, I suddenly smile and nod my head to acknowledge their presence. That often catches them off guard, and their natural reaction is to smile back. But sometimes, some people look alarmed when I do that, probably thinking I was some kind of a troublemaker or even a terrorist–especially with my looks. Some look suspicious and probably think I have a crush on them.

But most of them smile back and apparently feel much better, probably thinking that the world is still a good place to be in. I notice that most times, a simple smile and a friendly nod is all it takes to make people feel better about life and about themselves. And sometimes, too, that is lots better than doing a gigantic, magnificent ministry that serves only to mask the wrong intentions and attitudes of the heart. Not that I’m saying every big ministry is like that, but I’ve met folks with big ministries who are only full  of themselves.

Everyday they pass me by and I can see it in their eyes. People need to see even a tiny bit of hint that the Lord is in you, that there is still some good thing in this life worth seeing and pursuing after, and that there is genuine love that is given without asking anything in return.

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