The group was too small. An hour of my precious time for just two people?
Only ten likes. What a failure. I poured my heart into that piece. I’d hoped to reach more people than that.
Yes, I think like this. I measure success by counting the numbers. Yet God has reminded me that He has a different perspective.
Jesus tells us that he leaves ninety-nine sheep to search for one that is lost. I don’t know that we quite comprehend this. It’s not logical to the human mind.
Love was never about doing the sums. Love singles you out and tells you that you’ve been preferred above every other.
A bride is chosen by her husband above all other women. A family in search of a house culls the list of other potentials to select just one to be their home.
God loves the whole world, yes, but at the same time, He loves us, the individual. He left heaven in search of us. To bring us back. He knows our name, counts our hairs. Designed our fingerprints.
I’ve seen the millions on the crowded streets of New Delhi. I look at the endless rows of headstones at my local cemetery. God’s capacity to know the multitudes as if each
one was the only thing He created is astounding.
Loving like that
To know God’s love for me personally is surely life’s ultimate reward. The evidence of this discovery is then in the way this love outflows to others.
To love your neighbour as you love yourself, is the way Jesus puts it in Matthew chapter 22 verse 39. To do this, I must begin to see people as I see myself- worth knowing, investing in and loving as an individual.
Maybe it has come from standing in front a classroom of students for eight years, but I find it very difficult to see a crowd as individuals. Perhaps you feel the same when standing in a cue or find yourself stuck in traffic.
I look at people mathematically. Let’s say I know one hundred people. Then each one is allotted a portion of my attention. Some one-hundredth, some slightly more, some a lot less.
Yes, I would like to know their name and something about them. Yes, I greet them, enjoy their company, pray for them and converse with them. But mostly, they only have a one-hundredth of my heart. Less, if they’re all lumped together in one place.
My capacity for love is not God’s capacity. Let’s be honest, sometimes it’s hard enough just loving me.
Can I learn to see each person, not as a fraction, but as one? Can I come to understand that by God’s equation, one is worth the same as ninety-nine?
We forget the potential that lies inside a person. I think most people are like seeds. And that’s the way we see them.
It’s not the way God sees us. It’s not what Jesus saw when he went to the cross for us. He saw trees.
Few people really grow to what they could be. And I don’t think it’s the fault of the individual. After all, a seed can’t make itself grow.
No, seeds need water. Soil. Sun. In human terms, a person grows to what God intended when they are loved.
When we invest our lives into just one person with the love and guidance God provides, we have the privilege of being a part of the most amazing transformation. A seed can become a tree.
Think of the difference a single person can make.
Where would we be without Mother Teresa? Martin Luther King Jr. Albert Einstein. Gandhi. Individuals can be trees.
Would the mother, teacher or youth pastor of one of these people feel it was a waste to invest even their whole life into this one individual?
What we do for one can change the world.
So let’s not focus on the numbers. Let’s not measure success by the view count or the size of the audience. Instead let’s aim for the one. Because one person authentically loved is worth more than ninety-nine people clicking ‘like’ as they rapidly scroll across your post.
Tom likes Indian spices, French cars, British drama and Japanese gardens. He goes running nearly every day, but early in the morning so that he doesn't miss time with his wife and two young kids. In his spare time, Tom is a Special Needs and Technology teacher.
Tom’s other articles can be found at https://www.pressserviceinternational.org/tom-anderson.html