first.. my apologies for the time spent away from here.
This post was formed on thursday in reflection on my day. I haven’t had an opportunity to spend very much time near the computer over the weekend, as I was on a retreat with not internet. and I am back.
Never loses sight…
I was sitting in my car in a back alley in one of Surrey’s most notoriously crime-filled neighborhoods. My eyes darted furtively from one side of the alley to the other. To my right, a woman walking woodenly towards the corner, tugging at the disheveled hem of her miniskirt, while smoothing her greasy, half-coloured hair. She’s on her way to turn a trick-likely to earn enough for that next hit.
Just behind her emerges an older man. Drugs haven’t been kind to him and it’s impossible to discern how old he really is. He is clearly strung out. His jerky, unpredictable movements are accompanied by incoherent mutterings, yelling, and screaming.
To my left I have to blink twice to ensure that what i am looking at is real…
and it is. A walking stereotype. I can’t be certain he was a pimp, since i didn’t ask him, but he had the heavy chain, the expensive baggy jeans and turned down timberlands, a “grill” (at first i thought it was braces, but as he got closer, i realized i was wrong) and many rings on the fingers that were carefully shuffling bills from one hand to the other. He pulled his fedora down over the right side of his face and smiled.
I watched what i’m relatively certain was a drug deal go down.
In my rearview mirror, i watched as a young Asian father raced with his two year old son, stopping every five steps, then shouting, “go” causing his son to squeal in delight and continue to race.
I sat there waiting for my friend, a recovering drug addict, to finish with his methadone dosage in the methadone clinic on the other side of the alley.
I thought about his life-how rife with troubles it had been, and how riddled with crises it seemed to be. I thought of how impossible it is for him, and so many like him, to have real, meaningful relationships… How hard it is to see outside of the drama and trauma of an instant.
I thought of how hard it is for me to see outside of the world that I am in in this moment. I thought of how consumed I am with my problems, the problems of those closest to me, and the problems of those to whom i minister to. I thought about how intimately i know the details of some things… and yet how limited that knowledge was… of even the situations i knew about!
This woman, walking to turn a trick, desperate for that next hit… to numb the pain? to escape? I dunno…. but she does… and her world is quite consumed with it in the moment.
This man strung out beyond my ability to comprehend.. His life is full of stories, pain, history, joys, triumphs, failures, escape.
All these people with whom I was surrounded…
I couldn’t begin to enter their world and know them inside and out. I can’t even enter the world of the people I was here for and know them fully. I can’t even enter the world that i live in… consumed with my thoughts, my selfishness and problems, and fully understand IT…
We lose sight of eachother. Plain and simple.
before i drove into that alley, i didn’t know these people existed, couldn’t conceive of their emotions, problems, etc.
These people… the ones that we often think of as tucked away, hidden in the cracks… the back alleys… of our society.. we lose sight of them.
He never loses sight of even one of us!
I have a capacity. I cannot remember every single person who has been a part of my life… and the world is full of many more people than that.
I was drawn into worship in that place, of a God who is sooo incredibly loving and glorious and infinite… that He never loses sight of any of us. I could run away… hide in the back alleys of society… make choices that will destroy my life… lose sight of myself…
and HE will never lose sight of me.
He knows exactly where I am. He knows my name. He sees each tear that falls… and hears me when I call…
and not just me, but you too!
and the prostitute behind my car
and the pimp counting his money
the addict who is so far gone that he doesn’t even remember his OWN name… my Jesus knows his name.
He knows each of them… and in fact, he knows them inside and out. he sees exactly where they are… what makes them cry, what makes them joyous.. he sees each tear. He knows every intimate detail of the struggles that they face… of the problems that consume their minds.
He NEVER loses sight of any of us.
What an amazing and Great God He is! Holy, infinite, and compassionate, gracious, loving and PRESENT!
There is not a thing in creation… not the most common sparrow, not the most insignificant ant, that He does not know, and love.