The Value of 1
Only having recently joined the social media world (what?...I know right it's about time!), I've been both pleasantly surprised and a little taken back at all it has to offer. It is a great place to connect with others. A great place to tell a lot of people about what you're offering and what you feel they need to know. It's informative, fun and time consuming. Though I've been enjoying it I've also found myself challenged with one of social media's potential pitfalls - a superficial view of others.
I can remember when my follower counts were only 10 or so people and getting caught up in thinking, "What? Only ten people think I'm interesting?"(am I the only one who has ever thought this way? Possibly....so maybe just endure my vulnerability for a moment - there is a point coming!) . This set of thoughts finally emerged from the pit of my self-absorbency, perhaps the Holy Spirit or a moment of clarity either way three tough questions;
Do you even see these people?
Do you even care about them?
If you can't care for these ten how can you be trusted with more?
Woah... reality check! My desire for a greater crowd had caused me to miss the individuals. We can get into a quantity over quality mindset too easily. I'll buy ten pairs of $2 shoes that I know will fall apart within weeks instead of one or two good pairs of shoes that will last. Why have less when we can have more?
Jesus, though, as always set up a different standard when He walked the earth. I am reminded of the story of Zacchaeus in Luke 19. Jesus enters yet another town where He is met by a massive crowd of people awaiting His teaching. In the midst of this scene He singles out one man - Zacchaeus who most people in that town would have considered a waste of Jesus' time.
Jesus had the crowd, but He chose to single out the "one"...
In fact, we see Jesus do this many places in scripture. When one person needed something from Him whether it was the centurion with a sick servant (Matt.8:5), a mother-in-law with a fever (Matt.8:14), a woman who had been bleeding for 12 years (Mark 5) or the disciple Thomas whose weakened faith caused him to ask for a sign (John 20:27-29), Jesus responded. Whether exhausted, frustrated, hurting or beaten Jesus still put others ahead of Himself. In all the ways my world view fails to measure up to His this is probably the most blatant. Psalm 139:13-14 properly applied to the world around us would drastically change the way we view each other.
" For you created my (our) inmost being; You knit me (us) together in my (our) mother's womb.
I praise You because I am (we are) fearfully and wonderfully made;
Your works are wonderful, I know that full well" Psalm 139:13-14 NIV (emphasis mine)
Each person created with so much value! Within the crowd we are seeking stands a whole bunch of "ones". Individuals intricately designed with purpose, value and uniqueness. Jesus exemplified His value of us and showed us the heart of the Father when He came to die for us on the cross. He didn't have to...but we mattered. Our eternal destiny mattered. I've heard it said, " Even if you were the only person on the face of the earth, Jesus still would have come and died for you!". Based on what I know of Jesus' earthly ministry and constant acknowledgement of individual people I believe that's true. After all, the Father is "not willing that any should perish". He doesn't want any to perish, not even one.
In the face of such love and such value placed on us, I find myself looking through my current amount of followers and being thankful for them. Really trying to see them and recognizing their worth. I am learning to see others the way Jesus does. I am learning the value of 1.