Slow Down and See

I was driving down a highway in the middle of the day. The sky was clear and it was a beautiful day. Traffic was minimal, with only a few cars out on the road. It was a great day for driving. I had just passed a car from the left lane of a eight lane highway (was was in the far left lane of my four lanes). Otherwise, there were no other cars around. When I looked in my rear view mirror, I saw a police car approaching with their lights on. The police car was still a ways off, so I kept my eye on him, quickly checked my speed and knew they were not coming after me. Breathing a sigh of relief, I looked in my right side mirror to move over so the police car could pass. There were no cars in front of or besides beside, so I put on my blinker and proceeded to move over. Out of no-where I saw a bright yellow wheelbarrow sitting in the middle of my lane. I had not seen it. The wheelbarrow was stationary and sitting upside down. Clearly it had been there awhile since it had already settled from wherever it fell.

I only had a split second to make a decision, but there really was not a decision to make. The police car was on the left side and there was no time to veer to the right lane. So I did what I would have done in any good X-box car chase game and hit the wheelbarrow head on at seventy miles an hour. The plastic tub shattered, the wheels flew off and the metal frame got stuck in the car’s grill as it was pushed down the highway. Sparks were flying as the metal scraped along the asphalt road. After thanking God for still being able to drive, I knew I needed to pull over to survey the damage. Making sure to carefully stop on the side of the road, I got out and walked to the front of car. The metal frame had lodged itself into my grill, so I had to pull the frame out. Fortunately, I was in a Ford SUV, so the damage to the outside of the car was not visibly significant. The real damage was internal. Even now, I can still not believe that I had not seen the large yellow object sitting in the middle of the road. It is only by the grace of God that I was not hurt, the car was still drivable and no-one else was hurt either.

How often do we travel down the roads of life and miss others who are clearly in our path? Because we are not physically moving at 70 mph, we can pass right by, not seeing them, not seeing their hurts or pain. Maybe they are in a job that is invisible to many? Maybe they look fine on the outside, like my car, however the real issues are internal and in their heart? Whatever the reason, we miss people every day. People who need the love of Christ, need our love, compassion and our hope. People who just need a hug or a kind word or to just be acknowledged they exist. Too often we look right past the janitor or maid at the office. We look right past the garbage collector or the postman. Sometimes our daily struggles distract our minds from seeing those who really could use our help. The good news is Jesus see’s everyone. He saw the sick, the poor in spirit, the hurting, the outcast and the sinner. When we put on the mind of Christ and ask Him to give us His eyes and heart, we will begin to see those standing right in front of us.

Today, I encourage each of us to ask Jesus who He put in our path to share His love with. If you work in an office, look for the maintenance person, the janitor or maid. If you are in your neighborhood, look for the gardener, postman, garbage collector. Acknowledge them. Ask them “how are you?” Start a conversation and start to get to know them. Repeat your engagement every time you see that person. Let them know they are seen and important. Encourage them and show them the love of Christ. We can bring hope to a hopeless generation. We can bring light to a dark world. What a great opportunity to show Jesus to another person.

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