Hollywood. Lights, camera, action! Palm trees nearly reaching heaven, stars lighting up the skies both above and down below, lining up the holy grail of tourism. It was just another end of day for me, however, driving down Sunset Boulevard, making my way back home from work. The skies were filled with a pale pink and baby blue hue, quite like cotton candy. Though coined, "The City of Broken Dreams," my hope was restored on this seemingly mundane day after I witnessed a miraculous scene that immeasurably touched my heart.
At the intersection of a stop light, my eyes zoomed in on two homeless men and their interaction together. This bright red light served as a reminder, an opportunity, to stop and pause and notice and observe the moment that would be ingrained upon my heart even years later. Unsure whether these two men were friends or simply strangers, I noticed one rugged man with a scruffy beard holding a red and yellow box of large fries, from the fast food chain of all chains. Who knows, maybe an altruistic stranger offered that to him, or with his own cash he bought it to enjoy an early dinner that evening. Assuming he would savor it all to himself, instead, he walked over to the other homeless man and offered to share his fries with him. The man reached in and grabbed a couple of those golden crispy fries. More like a golden ticket to take part in a selfless act of kindness. Sharing a meal, breaking bread together, fellowshipping in the middle of a street lined with trash, but only treasure could be found.
Time stood still and this moment of true sacrifice, in all its simplicity, offered a sacred mirror of the heart of God. That homeless man was the heart of Jesus in action to the other homeless man. It reminded me of what is written in the Gospels, "For I was hungry and you gave me food" (Matthew 25:35) and "The King will reply, 'Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me'" (Matthew 25:40). This man’s actions mattered. Every bit of it. People may not have applauded him, but he surely had the applause of One.
Along those roughed up streets, daily commuters may see the homeless take their walk of shame. But these unseen men were clearly seen by God in another perspective. In His eyes, they were on the walk of fame, because what is worthy in God's eyes is often discounted in the world's eyes. Know that even when you may feel invisible in the world's eyes, you are always visible in God's eyes.
You don't have to be a superstar to make an impact. Just keep on looking at the true Star, the bright shining Light, Jesus Christ, and You will reflect His light. Every unnoticed act of love is so clearly noticed by Him. Every unseen act of sacrifice is so seen by Him. Instead of being a mere witness to a miracle, be the miracle. Just like when Jesus turned water into wine, you too can turn the mundane into the miraculous by being Jesus in action, bringing forth beauty in the every day.
“Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.” – 1 John 3:18
What if we were Jesus in action to our neighbor, to our stressed-out coworker, to a vulnerable family member, to the stranger who simply needed a smile, a cup of joe perhaps? What would that look like? How would that change the world, his or her world, your world? Seeing through His eyes, stopping for the one, and displaying Jesus' heart through our actions in our day-to-day?
May compassion move us, just as it moved Jesus. May we go beyond words and be compelled and propelled into action. Using whatever we have, with the time that we have right now, start here, start now, and don’t delay. In your community, joining in unity, and looking for the one to communicate face-to-face with, showing them that you see them, and care, but most importantly, that God sees and God cares.
“When He saw the crowds, He had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.” – Matthew 9:36
Jesus healed all who came to Him who were in desperate need of His divine touch. He healed their physical wounds, but more than that, He spiritually restored them, and ignited supernatural faith within them.
On a world mission, our responsibility remains – to represent the heart of Jesus to a lost and dying world, ready to serve instead of seeking to be served, and honored to be a voice to the voiceless, eyes to the unseen, ears to the unheard, hearts to the unloved, hands to the unreached, feet to the mislead, going where God leads.
Even our weakest attempts at loving God and His children moves His heart. Love makes the weak strong, the blind see, fills the hungry and thirsty, washes away the filthiest of offenses, and moves the grandest of mountains. As we’re moved into action, may we move forward in and straight into Love Himself.
May our daily prayer be to be made more like Jesus. To cultivate compassion, both in heart and in action. To imitate the holiness and perfection of our Lord Jesus. To lovingly look at the overlooked. To have a tender touch, a willingness to extend our arms out to the least likely. He stopped for the one, and we must too.
Love & Blessings,
In his book, The Character of a Man: Reflecting the Image of Jesus, Bruce Marchiano, renowned actor, speaker, and author writes:
What would it have been like to be that woman–or any woman–meeting Jesus two thousand years ago? What would a woman have seen in His eyes, heard in His tone, felt in His touch? Strength, gentleness, warmth, genuineness. A woman meeting Jesus would have met a Man who was confident enough to be tender, secure enough to openly care. She would have met a Man who led in graciousness and humility, whose touch on her shoulder was giving and pure. And what message would she have sensed in His manner? What would His every move have whispered into her heart? What would she have felt about herself after being with Him? 'You oh precious one, are My Daddy's most precious daughter–a true princess–a daughter of the Most High King!
Check out our two-part interview with Bruce Marchiano – a man who literally portrayed Jesus in action on the cross, most notably in the film, The Gospel According to Matthew – as we talk about all things movies, missions, and ministry!
The Elena & Natalia Show | Interview with Bruce Marchiano – Part 1
The Elena & Natalia Show | Interview with Bruce Marchiano - Part 2