How often do we stop to consider people as people, and not functions? How many times do I walk by and not consider the past, hurt, heart, desires, fears and concerns of others?
The barista in the coffee shop.
The check-out clerk in the grocery store.
The attendant at the gas pump.
The waiter at the restaurant.
Listen to this amazing story from Paul David Tripp:
I was out with a friend for dinner, and he said to the waiter, “We like to pray before we eat. How can we pray for you?” The waiter was caught off guard and mumbled, “I don’t think I really need any prayer” before walking away. But he came back five minutes later and said, “I recently found out that my girlfriend is pregnant, and I’m terrified of being a father. Would you pray for me?”
How did Jesus engage people?
Not according to their function.
[Jesus] entered Jericho and was passing through. And behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus. He was a chief tax collector and was rich. And he was seeking to see who Jesus was, but on account of the crowd he could not, because he was small in stature. So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him, for he was about to pass that way. And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, hurry and come down, for I must stay at your house today.” So he hurried and came down and received him joyfully. And when they saw it, they all grumbled, “He has gone in to be the guest of a man who is a sinner.” And Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor. And if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I restore it fourfold.” And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, since he also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”
Zacchaeus was a man disdained for his function. That didn’t stop Jesus from inviting Himself to dinner with him.
Take the time to be salt, to be light, to a hurt and lost world today. Put your phone down for a second, go “D n’ D” (Do Not Disturb) if you have to. We can’t engage with others if we’re too engaged with ourselves.
God is a relational God, and we are His Children. We need to be relational. We need to see people as people.