I am a people watcher. I admit it and I do it a lot. One of my favorite things to do is to find a place on campus that is "quiet" or rather where the noise of all the people around melds into a constant hum. There I will sit, maybe with a book in front of me, maybe not, and watch. People are interesting. There is the chic with the hot pink hair, fuzzy snow boots and a mini skirt in 90 degree weather. Then there passes a group of sorority girls all in pink and lots of make up. The artists are at a table across from me, skinny, dark hair poking every which way, always in browns or earth tones. A shout arises from the group of boys sitting in a circle all with laptops, I guess one of them as defeated the next level of dungeons and dragons.
I watch a lot. Sometimes I imagine what their lives are like too. Ever try that? It can get scary or ridicilous or thought provoking. Maybe under that makeup, the sorority girl is very lonely. Perhaps the artist sits and wonders if he will ever amount to anything, if anyone will ever appreciate his work or see the his emotions reflected in his creations. Suppose the pink haired girl is just daring someone, anyone to make a comment about her outfit, or for someone to notice her for whatever reason. What are they thinking? Are they happy? sad? I found that more people than you would think are lonely. Maybe they are all lonely. Maybe we are all lonely.
In one of Frank Peretti's books, I believe it was the Prophet, the main character is able to hear other people's souls. He hears a women's sorrow and guilt of an abortion, another girl's fear of abuse. There is one scene in which he is shown listening to the wails and cries that just penetrate the air, that come from every heart. Can you imagine being able to hear another's soul? Would we be able to love them more? Or would we love them less?
I was given a challenge last week. How do you look at the whole world, every single person, as made in the image of God.? Try doing it, its hard. There are some people you love and serve out of love, there are some people you serve out of 'obligation'. You may even pretend that it is hard to love these people. I know I do, but there are always those who are just so annoying, or who might have hurt you just one too many times, or just smell funny, that it really is hard to love. I like to think of myself as a kind and loving person. But I can list several names just from the top of my head of people I know and don't love, and have excuses for not loving, or simply just ignore because I don't like them. But you know, they are made in the image of God too. It is so hard.
What's going on in their souls?
5 weeks ago