One Individual At A Time

Imagine Jesus at a slope from the seashore to the mountain. There is one of those mega-church-sized crowds of 10,000 listening to him teach. And then he closes his eyes, face turned upward, arms raised and reaching out toward the crowd, as he works himself into an emotional frenzy, he shouts, “Yes, I see you with the arthritic hip. And you are cured. And you with the migraine headaches that won’t go away, yes, you are healed. Yes, I hear you who are suffering from depression. You are made whole…”

I was pondering the words of Linus, the philosopher/theologian of Charles Schulz’s Peanuts gang, who said, “I love humanity; it’s people I can’t stand.”

Jesus taught people in crowds. He healed individually. He dealt with unique individuals. People with severe skin diseases whom he actually touched (could you? I?). A woman with bleeding. A foreign woman with a sick child. A Roman (don’t overlook the significance of these last two) with a sick servant. People. He loved people. He told us to love people. Not crowds. People. Individuals.

What are we to learn?

Perhaps the next human we meet, we see as an individual. An individual with their unique hope and dreams and struggles and accomplishments. Not just classified into a faceless group–black, Asian, Mexican, rural white, and so on, and so on.

Like Jesus, we discard theory and just love the individual we meet next. And the one after. And the one after…

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