It can be uncomfortable to be confronted by someone who is hurting or has an obvious need, but it only takes one leader to change the dynamic of a conversation or interaction.
Following Jesus means furthering His efforts to reach and love those ignored by others. Mark 10:46-52 tells the story of Jesus calling out Bartimaeus and healing him of blindness. In this passage we see the crowd is not receptive, not wanting to engage the blind man, but Jesus shifts His entire purpose to a person they would have rather ignored. Whether it is the homeless person on the corner with a sign asking for help or a person with a developmental disability acting out in public,the tendency is to avoid eye contact, ignore the situation, and get away from the person as soon as possible. However, Jesus calls Bartimaeus to himself, and he sends his followers to tell the man to come near. It is then that the atmosphere changes. Bartimaeus is no longer a nuisance; he is welcomed. His need is not too big or messy or difficult to be brought to Jesus. Challenge yourself to see beyond the outward appearance, to the person. As believers,we can respond in a way that acknowledges each person’s value and need for God. We can advocate for the most vulnerable in areas of society that would rather ignore them.