Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Do You See?

Sometime I like to just sit and watch people.  It's fun to look at people and make a guess as to who they are or where they are going.  Often we make assumptions about people based on their appearance.   If a person is dressed well we might assume they have a good job, maybe a business man, and if their clothing seems sloppy, we might assume they are more blue collar.   We judge people based on their occupation; doctors and lawyers are esteemed while sanitation workers may be looked down on. (Just a side note here – I’m not saying I do this or that it is right.)

In Jesus’ day, the Pharisees and other religious leaders were the ones who were highly respected and the tax collectors were hated.  No one likes to have their money taken for taxes, but these tax collectors worked for the Roman government, which made them even more despised.  For this reason, these men who collected taxes became invisible.  

Have you ever taken the "if I don't acknowledge it then it's not real" approach to something? 
If I pretend not to notice the overflowing trash can, then I don't have to be the one to empty it.   

If I don't acknowledge the piles of dishes in the sink, then I don't have to wash them.  

I wonder if we take this approach with people too.  If I hurry through the store without looking at anyone, then I won't have to stop and talk.  If I don't acknowledge the homeless man on the sidewalk, then I don't have to feel guilty about walking by.   

The tax collectors were invisible people.  No one wanted to make eye contact and run the risk of suddenly owing more tax.  I imagine these men just sitting in the booths along the side of the road while crowds of people pass them by; no one noticing.  That's why this verse in Mark really caught my attention.

As he (Jesus) walked along, he saw Levi (Matthew) son of Alphaeus sitting at his tax collector’s booth.  Mark 2:14
Jesus saw Matthew.  
His neighbors ignored him. 
The Pharisees considered him to be scum (Mk. 2:16).
But Jesus saw him.  

And Matthew's life was forever changed.

“Follow me and be my disciple,” Jesus said to him. So Levi (Matthew) got up and followed him.  Mark 2:15

You were alone, ignored, desperate and despised but Jesus saw you and changed your life.  

Who do you see?

Many blessings,

Linking up with:


  1. Hi Lisa - unfortunately, in my house if I ignored the rubbish or the dishes, they would still be there later to welcome me :) On a more serious note, its so true that we look the other way and don't want to see what we don't want to do anything about. Great post, to look and see what Jesus would see and then ask Him what He would have us do!
    God bless

  2. I am a people watcher. The way other people live their life, their daily routine, all of that just interests me. :)

    This is a great post. I was alone and ignored, maybe not physically alone and ignored, but felt alone, and God saw me. Little ole me.

  3. Great challenge, Lisa. I want to have the heart that sees people they way Jesus sees them.

  4. I love this "If I pretend not to notice the overflowing trash can, then I don't have to be the one to empty it." It does work sometimes!:) Your are so right though.... because we are followers of Jesus we must reflect his love by pausing to notice others no matter what they look like. I think Jesus was drawn to the folks who were sloppy and messy. Praise God for that...I totally would have been one of the messy ones!:)

  5. I have been working on this for a few years now. I was once a judger and will admit sometimes I still do it but truly try not to. If I catch myself judging I turn the thought or words into a God Bless You. I was the one ignored and judged from 6-12th grade and it takes but a moment to remember how that feels and that I never want to cast that on someone else. I am glad you mentioned eye contact, for whatever reason I have noticed myself having less with people, this must be remedied. Thank you for the food for thought and the reminder that I am on the right path.

  6. I like this post! We need to look at everyone. In the Great Commission Christ told us to tell everyone, not just the ones we want. I posted a devotion similar to this on my blog. It is titled "This Person?" God Bless You!


  7. This was a very enlightening post. I love your thoughts today. When I was little by mother loved to park the car on main street in our little town and just watch people. I am a people person. Over the years I have learned to read on their face the emotions. I don't know if I am always right; but I can recognize pain in their faces. The thoughts on our Savior who sees us as we should see others.
    Blessings to you and I loved this one.

  8. Lisa,

    I am a people watcher too, I find it so intriguing. What I really took away from reading this post was that even if we feel forgotten or overlooked Jesus still sees us, He doesn't us the way other people see us, He sees us as the person He created. Sometimes people just want to be noticed, to know that someone sees them, that someone noticed them. These are words to chew on today.


  9. I am so grateful He saw me and I pray that I always see those He places in my path! Great reminder!

  10. This is really convicting. As an introvert and someone who really has a hard time with idle chit-chat, sometimes I avert my eyes just so I don't have to engage. This post makes me realize that I can and maybe should engage more than I do.

  11. Great post Lisa. I really like the last line...You were alone, ignored, desperate and despised but Jesus saw you and changed your life.
    I am soooo thankful that HE did!!

  12. Sad, but true. So many times I am guilty of turning my head so I do not have to acknowledge something. Great post Lisa.

    I have been quiet lately in blogger land. I hope and pray all is going well with you.


  13. So grateful for His grace that saw me. Praying for grace to see others. Great post! And thanks for visiting my blog:)

  14. Guilty. So thankful for a forgiving Father who shows us our heart -- sometimes through the blog of a friend -- and always guides us into new thought patterns.