Do you remember the “Where’s Waldo” children’s books? Little ones (and their curious parents) search in the sea of faces for one nerdy little guy in a red and white t-shirt just waiting to be discovered. Waldo is a picture of every one of us….a world full of people, just longing to stand out.

A key to experiencing “Love the Lord…and love your neighbor” Matthew 22:37-39 is seeing people as God sees them, with His heart. 

  • I received three calls this week….a godly wife calls to say her husband has been arraigned on a prostitution charge on his way home from church.
  • A well-respected youth pastor, husband and father of three lovely daughters appears on the nightly news accused of child abuse.
  • A young husband gets a call from his wife that she is tired of being married, she has left town with another man, and he can keep the kids.

What as a Jesus-follower, is your reaction….shock? disgust? Anger? Grief? Unbelief?

  • Jesus had three similar encounters…a woman so wounded she goes to get water at midday to avoid all the gossip.  She’s had four husbands, and now she’s just living with a guy to avoid the pain of divorce.
  • A woman caught in the very act of adultery, taken to the middle of town and thrown at the rabbi’s feet…
  • A weasley little tax collector who is hated and shunned by the Israelites, so he scams for the Romans and cons whatever extra denarii he can….

How do you see people who cross your path? As broken and fallen, needing to be fixed and repaired? Or as alone and needy, needing to be forgiven, accepted and loved?

Christ’s encounter in Mark 8 with the man born blind:  “I see people, they look like trees walking around.”  When Christ touches him a second time, “His eyes were opened, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly.”  Mark 8:25.

Like the blind man, we also may need additional perspective in order to really see people as God sees them—not just “as trees walking around.”

Only as we see people-ourselves and others as both fallen and alone, cam we truly love and be loved.

People are fallen sinners, but people are also alone.

Adam was alone before he sinned: God speaks of  something “not good” before the Genesis 3 fall into sin:  “It is not good to be alone.”  Genesis 2:18

Sin is what keeps us alone, separated from God and others.  Our sin is sometimes expressed through selfishness, self-reliance, self-condemnation

Every person enters life both spiritually alone (needing God) and interpersonally alone (needing others)

Aloneness is “not good” – we are most vulnerable to low productivity, failure, and defeat when we are alone:  “Two people can accomplish more than twice as much as one; they get a better return for their labor.  If one person falls, the other can reach out and help.  But people who are alone when they fall are in real trouble.  And on a cold night, two under the same blanket can gain warmth from each other.  But how can one be warm alone?  A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back to back and conquer.  Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.”  Ecclesiastes 4:9-12, NLT

If we see people only as fallen, we tend to want to “prune” them – correcting, fixing, admonishing, shaping them, etc.  Pruning trees makes sense, but pruning people wrecks relationships.

We can do much more about a person’s aloneness than we can do about their fallenness (sin). Cleansing sin is the work of the Holy Spirit.

If we miss this truth, we tend to care mostly about “pruning” children, other Christians, friends, unbelievers, spouse

We are called by God to so live and so love that people would be less interpersonally alone – and through the witness of our life and words others might come to know of Christ’s provision for their spiritual aloneness. Intimate, close relationships remove aloneness. No amount of facts, logic, activities, possessions, or position can remove aloneness.

Only intimate relationships remove aloneness.          

Intimacy is:

  • Deeply knowing – Hebrew yada – Jeremiah 1:5, Job 19:14
  • Being known – Hebrew sod – Proverbs 3:32
  • Being caringly involved – Hebrew sakan – Psalm 139:3

We need this “knowing, being known, caring” quality of relationship both with God and with other people. Are you afraid of opening your heart to God and others? Be healed of loneliness and isolation. Connect.


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