For this reason, perhaps, I can now relate very well to the following piece that I recently received from a friend:
A husband went to the sheriff's department to report that his wife was missing.
Husband: “My wife is missing. She went shopping yesterday and has not come home.”
Sergeant: “What is her height?”
Husband: “Gee, I'm not sure. A little over five-feet tall.”
Husband: “Don't know. Not slim, not really fat.”
Sergeant: “Color of eyes?”
Husband: “Sort of brown I think. Never really noticed.”
Sergeant: “Color of hair?”
Husband: “Changes a couple times a year. Maybe dark brown now. I can’t remember.”
Sergeant: “What was she wearing?”
Husband: “Could have been pants, or maybe a skirt or shorts. I don't know exactly.”
Sergeant: “What kind of car did she go in?”
Husband: “She went in my truck.”
Sergeant: “What kind of truck was it?”
Husband: “A 2015 Ford F150 King Ranch 4X4 with eco-boost 5.0L V8 engine special ordered with manual transmission and climate controlled air conditioning. It has a custom matching white cover for the bed, which has a matching aftermarket bed liner. Custom leather 6-way seats and "Bubba" floor mats. Trailering package with gold hitch and special wiring hook-ups. DVD with full GPS navigation, satellite radio receiver, 23-channel CB radio, six cup holders, a USB port, and four power outlets. I added special alloy wheels and off-road Michelins. It has custom running boards and indirect wheel well lighting. The VIN number is 1HGBH41JXMN109186.”
At this point the husband started choking up.
Sergeant: “Don't worry buddy. We'll find your truck.”
On a serious note, I am now going through a weird experience as a result of acquiring a new (to me) vehicle. I find myself suddenly noticing Ford F150 pickup trucks all around me. No doubt they had been there all along. It is just that the process of searching for a vehicle and deciding upon an F150 has heightened my sensitivity to their presence. The roads seem literally to be full of them. As I have shared this with others, many have attested to having had a similar experience. They have also assured me that it will soon wear off.
Perhaps there is a scientific name for this phenomenon. I do not know. But I do know that it applies to more than just the acquisition of vehicles. As a Pastor, I have observed that those who are often the most sensitive to the plight of people who do not have a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ are in fact those who have just found Christ themselves. Conversely, those who claim to have known Christ for some time, if they are not careful, can often lose their sensitivity to the plight of non-believers.
In the fourth chapter of the New Testament Gospel of John, Jesus travels through the Samaritan village of Sychar. His disciples had gone into town to buy lunch. He Himself sat down by the local well and struck up a conversation with a Samaritan woman. Through this conversation, He convinced her of the need she had for not only physical water, but also living water – a reference to the spiritual life as a result of a restored relationship with God that He was making possible. That one conversation changed her life and that of many in her village forever.
Upon their return, however, His disciples were surprised that He, a Jewish male, was even talking to her. After all, she was a woman and a foreigner (a Samaritan). Jesus responded in verse 35 by challenging His disciples with this statement: “I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest.”
As you and I travel the roads of life, we are still challenged to open our eyes and look around us. As we do, we will likely see more than a few people who are searching for something of substance upon which to base their life. Jesus told many stories about how we should treat them when we do take notice. A classic example is the Parable of the Good Samaritan in the tenth chapter of the gospel of Luke.
But the first step is simply to open our eyes and to actually see them! If we do not ever take notice of the needs of others, we cannot hope to offer them anything of value. Besides, where would you and I be today if no one ever took time to notice us? More to the point, where would any of us be if God Himself had not taken notice of our plight and then sent His Son to seek and to save that which was lost?!