It’s an odd thing that people can be present, yet invisible, here, yet absent. I saw this at the local city Arts Festival over the weekend. There were many people out and about, having a good time with the music, the beer, the food, the rides, and all that goes along with a carnival-like setting.
One very frail lady came carting across the boulevard on her scooter, alone, hoisting the American flag along the way. As she worked her way up the street, weaving in and out of folks and exhibits, I realized she would probably go home without a people connection. She was visible-but-invisible. Maybe, she likes it this way, but I wonder? Was she unseen because of a health condition, because of age, because of her lack of friends or family to accompany? Where does she call “home”? Does she like being alone this way, or would she rather have companionship at the festival?
Don’t know. I do know that, as she and that scooter made a gradual, meandering path up the boulevard, her solitary figure became swallowed in a crowd of people! I sometimes feel that way – “lost in the crowd”. How about you?
Sometimes, we come to the realization that, but for the grace and presence of God, we might be “alone”! Those are sobering moments when we realize how vital people connections – relationships, friendships – serve our need for community. Facebook users, bloggers, and social media types feel the need, or we wouldn’t spend the time in this odd new world of online connections!
“Lost in the crowd” still happens when people don’t see us, “Like” us, comment on us, appreciate the things, the photos, the thoughts we post. It’s a new kind of “lostness” – people feeling alone when people they can’t even see don’t acknowledge them in a socially constructed “other world”. We needn’t be elderly, frail, impaired, or whatever other condition, to find ourselves without connections, and that “invisible” feeling creeps in!
God never intended for people to live in this kind of isolation. From the teachings of Scripture we can see the LORD, the creator of heaven and earth, the Source of life and breath …
- Sets the solitary in families.
- Commands that we honor our father and mother.
- Requires special attention “to the widows and the orphans”.
- Expects welcome to the strangers in our midst.
- Breaks down walls of partition between people groups (affinity, nationality, ethnic, race, gender, religion – whatever!)
- Makes the way for fellowship and community at the deepest levels.
Jesus’ own life, death, and resurrection show us how connections work! God has a wondrous purpose in weaving our lives together!
In this blog entry today, I speak to myself, and to anyone who might stumble upon it …
- You are blessed with people and connections (you may have to find and build them!) to experience abundant life!
- You are the blessed connection to someone – maybe, many people! – to bring life and to share life with them!
- You are not lost in the crowd from the vantage point of the One who created you and calls you into such a rich and lasting communion.
Seek and fulfill those connections in your path that will bring life today!
John 10:10 – “I came that they (YOU!) may have life, and have it abundantly.”
2 Corinthians 13:14 – “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.”