by Robert J. Young
An article I recently read speaks eloquently to the question of how we must be involved in the lives of others. A family decided to attend the movies together. As they entered, the 12-year-old son stopped to get some popcorn while the rest of the family went on into the theater. By the time the boy got into the theater, the lights had been dimmed. He searched, but could not find his family. He paced up and down, scanning the theater in near darkness. As the lights dimmed even further, he spoke out loud, "Does anyone here recognize me?"
Most of the visitors who visit here come looking for connection, friendship with those of like values and faith, and spiritual companionship. Too often they enter our building, stand neglected in the foyer for an uncomfortable moment, seek out the auditorium, sit alone, and exit with minimal human contact. In the deepest recesses of their hearts, they are crying out, "Does anyone here recognize me?"
People in our world are longing to be found. They need and seek belonging and security and acceptance. No need to overwhelm them--the young lad would have been embarrassed had the entire family stood up and hugged and embraced him. All he needed was a familiar voice, an identifying "your family is here."
Look closely into the eyes of our visitors. I believe you will see a longing to be found. Our greeters do a wonderful work, but they need our help. When you notice a visitor among us, make certain they know how happy we are for their presence. Remember always that we are in the same business as our God--the task of seeking, finding, and saving the lost.
Every week, someone visits this church--in essence asking, "Does anyone here recognize me?" Let us answer confidently, "Yes, we recognize you." And let us quickly echo the even more important fact, "Yes, Jesus recognizes you!"
©, 2002, Robert J. Young
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