Public transport provides many opportunities for people watching. I am writing this post on a train to London. The lady seated across the aisle to me was disappointed to discover that the train was substituted at the last minute and does not have a travelling chef service. No hot breakfast this morning! She came prepared with a large bag of grapes, which have slowly disappeared during the journey. She appears to be a happy soul and has joked with the train manager about the lack of catering on the train this morning.
The lady seated across the table to me has not smiled yet. Perhaps she objects to the barrier my laptop is creating. I only have my share of the table, so it shouldn’t be a problem. She asked for fresh milk in her tea, declining the pots of UHT milk the rest of us accepted without complaint. She also has an accent indicating that she is not from these shores. She doesn’t know that she is featuring in a blog.
I find people watching a fascinating pastime, as did Jesus according to what we read in Scripture. I wonder if Jesus watched each of the disciples from a distance before approaching them and issuing the challenge to follow Him? And what about the woman at the well in Samaria? The one who had worked her way through numerous husbands. Jesus knew all about her, and must have been watching her intently as she approached the well.
Do you ever wonder what Jesus sees when He looks at you? I do. I know that He sees everything – the good, the bad and the ugly, and all of my many weaknesses and shortcomings in an instant. As Jesus sees what He sees in each of us He realises the potential that exists, just waiting to be released. The key? Accepting that our weaknesses and shortcomings, like everything else, need to be surrendered to Him. And that is the point that He can begin to work in us. Because His strength is perfected in our weaknesses.
I must go on boasting. Although there is nothing to be gained, I will go on to visions and revelations from the Lord. I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of the body I do not know – God knows. And I know that this man—whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, but God knows was caught up to paradise and heard inexpressible things, things that no one is permitted to tell. I will boast about a man like that, but I will not boast about myself, except about my weaknesses. Even if I should choose to boast, I would not be a fool, because I would be speaking the truth. But I refrain, so no one will think more of me than is warranted by what I do or say, or because of these surpassingly great revelations. Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:1-10 NIV)