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She brushed past us in the school hallway. Her shoulders sagged beneath the weight of brimming tears. Flushed cheeks and nose betrayed her struggle to withhold sobs. She avoided eye contact.  The girl continued down the hall in silence, as if she hoped to take cover before the cry burst forth.

Did she know I prayed for her? As a complete stranger to her, I didn’t dare stop her or say anything that might add embarrassment to her morning. Of the dozen sorrow triggers I can imagine for high school orientation, I had no idea which one crushed her heart. I cannot say whether she whisked home without a single friend to ask what was wrong. I don’t know where she broke open to release that imminent flood of tears.

Perhaps the girl believed her stifled cries went unnoticed. If so, I pray she learns the truth. Though she’ll never know I cared, may her heart come to know One Who loves her without limit. If she sobs in a subterranean cave or weeps at the bottom of the sea, His heart will feel each stab of her pain. No cry is hidden from His ear.

I plead with the Holy Spirit to bring her a friend who will impart Christ’s love to her. She should not continue to feel unheard, unseen, or alone in her suffering. In more ways than one, she is not alone. Far too many people struggle in silent isolation from others, unaware of how precious they are to God. Christ reaches toward the lost and broken with compassion-scarred hands. I wish more people knew that He hears every moan and cherishes each tear as part of His own heart’s pain.

We can become the flesh of His embrace, reaching out to share love with the outcasts and the crushed souls. Whether today’s call is to prayer, an intimate conversation, or a blog post, the Spirit will prompt us. Offer hope. Show them Who cares. Though culture insists on qualifications like intelligence, vigor, or status, God seeks heartfelt obedience. Those who listen to the Spirit can brighten the world. One shivering soul at a time. In these chilling times, a throng of suffering hearts depends on us.

 

“The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them;he delivers them from all their troubles.
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:17-18).

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
    because the Lord has anointed me
    to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
    to proclaim freedom for the captives
    and release from darkness for the prisoners,
 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor
    and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
     and provide for those who grieve” (Isaiah 61:1-3).

“When they cry out to me, I will hear, for I am compassionate” (Exodus 22:27).

“You, Lord, hear the desire of the afflicted;
    you encourage them, and you listen to their cry,
defending the fatherless and the oppressed” (Psalm 10:17-18)

Surely he took up our pain
    and bore our suffering” (Isaiah 53:4).

“You Yourself have recorded my wanderings.
Put my tears in Your bottle.
Are they not in Your records?” (Psalm 56:7-8)

 

“Are you important?” The pharmacist locked eyes with me.

Taken off-guard by the question, I fumbled for a response. 

“You look like you’re important,” he said.

“Well, everybody’s just as important as everyone else,” I managed to say. “I’m sure I’m no more important than you are.”

“Well, that’s a good attitude.” The pharmacist proceeded to prepare my arm for a vaccination. “I won’t go on telling you you look like a movie star, then.”

Though I complemented his painless technique and kept conversation polite, a twinge of regret hit me over the missed opportunity. I should have added “in God’s eyes” to my statement of universal significance.

In this world, I harbor no delusions of movie star status. My computer screen reads 9:30PM. I just finished cleaning the kitchen and folding laundry. Earlier, I answered business emails, filed paperwork, ran errands, and managed social media. Hollywood icons have others do those tasks. They also don’t chase pregnant flies around the house before sitting down to dinner, but that’s another story…

Let it suffice to say I’m not at risk of paparazzi stalkings or a fan mob crushing. I’m not well known by earthly standards.

To the One Who made the stars, however, I’m known well. In God’s eyes, the status of my importance skyrockets. I have no light of my own with which to shine, but through my intimate relationship with His Son, I become more than a star.

“You may become blameless and pure, ‘children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.’  Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life” (Philippians 2:15-16).

If anyone ever asks me about my importance again, I’ll know how to respond. “I’m not a movie star,” I’ll say, “but I am a star. Would you like to be one, too?”

Christ thinks you’re so important, He’d give His life up just for you. Every day of your life, the glorious Son sends His Spirit to pursue your affections. Relentless in love and passion for you, He daily seeks a deeper connection with your heart.

What will you say if someone asks whether you’re important?

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