Engage in Noticing
“What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,’ but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.” James 2:14-17
In Luke 10, Jesus shared a parable of a man who was beaten, robbed and left to die on the side of the road. As he lay there dying, two men of faith walk by him: a priest and a Levite, or in today’s terms, a pastor and a leading church member. Both of these men glance over, see the problem, and pass by on the other side of the road. Now, they had “good,” perfectly logical reasons for refusing to help. Helping this man would render them “unclean” and make them unable to serve in the temple or tabernacle. Helping this man would take time, and perhaps make them late to whatever appointment they were headed to next. So, they refused to stop and help.
But what good is that?
Imagine that the priest walks by and thinks to himself, “I’m going to pray for that man and then encourage my people to pray for him as well!” Imagine that the Levite walks by and thinks to himself, “I’m going to start a new church ministry that sends people out on these roads to help poor people like that!” These are not evil thoughts, but in the words of the Apostle James, “what good is it?”
In our lives, we need to constantly engage in noticing the broken and dying parts of our world. We need to notice them with eyes that do more than just walk by. We need to notice them with hearts that cause us to do something about it! Don’t fail to see the needs, and when you see them, don’t just walk by on the other side of the road!