anonymous people


Last week I spent a lot of time in airports. I passed thousands of people with specific plans in mind. They were all coming from somewhere and headed somewhere else. Each of them has a life filled with desires and burdens.

Yet to me they were anonymous people. I might notice one for a few moments, as they caught my eye or as I snatched bits of their conversations.  If their physical presence intruded on mine, for those brief moments, they had my attention. But I did not think about any of them for long, and now they are forgotten. I have to force myself to remember a face, and I remain oblivious of their life’s condition.

Here and there I formed an opinion about someone; the way they intruded in line, the words they used to a store clerk, or how they handled their crying child. Now, even those opinions have disappeared.  To be blunt, I passed by those thousands of people almost as casually as I would a forest of trees along the highway.

Yet God was and is thinking about each of them in a very personal way. In fact, there has never been a moment in God’s forever existence – in which He has not had them on his heart. That astonishes me!

God loves them. He has a message for them. He has declared saving truth for them. A sacrifice was made for them. Right now Christ’s call echoes for them, if they would have ears to hear it . . .  if they would have a person to share it.

Airports remind me that I don’t think about people the way God does. I say I want many to be saved, but I did not think about salvation in a personal way for those thousands of individuals. My world does not reach far beyond – me.

Airports remind me that I simply do not have God’s capacity to have knowledge and concern for just the slice of humanity that passes by me, let alone the billions I will never see. Even more humbling is that for the handful of people I do know from the inside, I am helpless to help them with their most important needs.

Airports remind me God deserves my praise.  Why did He come to me and save me?!  What causes Him to be so faithful and attentive to me?!

Airports remind me that God is our only hope. What other hope is there for the immense ocean of human burden?  Only God is capable of knowing every heart and of meeting every need.

Airports remind me that if I want to be used by God, I must always pursue Him and His will for me. Unless Holy Spirit uses me, my life will have as much lasting impact as the footprints I leave along the beach.

Next time you are in a crowded place, whether it is an airport, or the mall, or even your own church; consider God’s concern for each of those anonymous people passing before us. People who are far from anonymous to him.

Originally posted 12.11