Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Just a Face in the Crowd

I've got a rough draft of all but seven of my days for the April blogging challenge.  They are rough, believe me, but they're started!  I'm working on it ahead of time because I will be busy babysitting my granddaughter for the whole month of April and I know I probably won't have a lot of time for writing.  I hope I won't anyway!

As I'm roughing out my theme and researching my topics I have come across a lot of names.  Lots and lots of names.  My posts that are about someone are mostly about some major Bible characters.  At least 12 of them will be anyway.  As I have researched the major players, I find other names attached to him or her.  Often I find myself having to dig deeper to find as much information as I can that may help me understand the major character better all because of one name.

Unfortunately, there's not a lot of hidden treasure found.  For the most part, what I am finding is that except for being mentioned as a "son of someone" most names have a one time appearance in the Bible.  Their name debuts but there is nothing to fill in the  "whatever became of.....?" blanks.

Which, to be honest, I don't think is very fair of God.  To the person, or to me, the reader.  I mean, if you're going to mention a name, someone connected to a major character of the Bible, wouldn't it be fair to us to know a little bit more about them then that they were someone's son?  I mean really, God, I want to know more.  Don't you?

Maybe you don't.

But.....then I get to thinking, and that is always a dangerous thing, if God wanted us to know more about someone he would have told us more.  And really, to be fair, there would be a LOT of people to add detail to, making the Bible even longer to read.  It's hard enough for most of us to read through it in a year, imagine if every name had a chapter?  So, I kinda understand why we don't know more and that's ok.  I guess I'll save my questions for heaven.

But here's the thing about all these named, yet anonymous people of history:

Even though we don't know anything beyond their name, as we look through this wide angle view of history, we do know they were a part of something much bigger than we can only imagine.

For example, the nameless believers of Pentecost Sunday.  We don't know the names of the 3000 that came to faith the day the Holy Spirit poured out on the crowd while listening to Peter, but we do know and can relate to the magnitude of what 3000 people might look like.  I would guess they probably equalled a small section at the Super Bowl, maybe like those sitting in the end zone.

At any rate, no matter what 3000 humans together look like, they were people.  They all had kidneys and hearts and muscle and skin and bones and a vascular system.  Everyone of them, nameless as they were, were human beings.  I would imagine a good portion of them had mothers and fathers and a few siblings too.  Nameless to most, especially us in 2016, but not faceless and anonymous to those who were closest to them.

I look at my family genealogy records and am in awe of the multitude of names that are included in just one branch of my family tree.  Just because I didn't know them personally, doesn't mean their life did not impact mine.  I have pictures of some, but not most.  There are records that have their names on them, their ages, their address, but I'll never know what color their eyes were or if they had a loud laugh like I do or were shy and reserved.  I can't read the emotions some of them felt as they buried a child, that records I read say, died as an infant.

But just because I can't touch them or hear them or see them or walk with them doesn't mean they were just a face in the crowd or a name on a ship's manifest or in the pages of an ancient book such as the Bible.

You, me....we.....we're a part of history right now.  Two hundred years from now only a few names will be recorded in history as the leader of the times we're in.  That doest mean we don't matter for our time in history because behind every leader is us.  Our names and faces will someday disappear like a vapor, but our purpose in history will live on.

We may not lead millions or thousands or even hundreds, but we're all a leader of someone.  A mother leads her children.  A father leads his family.  A child leads his or her siblings.  A student can lead a classmate, and a teacher can lead students.  To some degree, all of us are leaders whether we see ourselves as one or not.  Someone is always watching what we say, what we do, where we go, and how we do life.  We may never have our names written in the pages of history in great detail,  but it certainly doesn't mean that you and I aren't a part of what will one day be called history by our grandchildren.

You are more than a face in the crowd.  You are more than a space in a room or at your desk.  You are more.  You are needed.  You have purpose.  There is a plan written just for your life.  Look up and ask to see it!  You are far from faceless or nameless to God.  He knows your name and the very days of your life were planned by him before any of them came to be.

You are loved, Friend.  Very, very loved.



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