Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:16-18
I've become acquainted with many forms of transportation in Istanbul this past week. I've known all things; from buses, planes, trains, and taxis, to buses, subways, elevators, escalators, and did I mention buses? The result of such methods of continual public travel is an acute sense that there are many people in the world, and they are all busy. Who are these people? What's important to them? There are so many: too many to ever know... too many to empathize with, too many to love.
This morning on the bus, my back was pressed against a woman's shoulder for a straight thirty minutes. She is a person I do not know, yet she touched me. The incident was a physical reminder of this moment documented in Mark's gospel: ...and a large crowd was following Him and pressing in on Him. A woman who had had a hemorrhage for twelve years, and had endured much at the hands of many physicians, and had spent all that she had and was not helped at all, but rather had grown worse --- after hearing about Jesus, she came up in the crowd behind Him and touched His cloak. For she thought, "If I just touch His garments, I will get well." Immediately the flow of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of her affliction. Immediately Jesus, perceiving in Himself that the power proceeding from Him had gone forth, turned around in the crowd and said, "Who touched My garments?" And His disciples said to Him, "You see the crowd pressing in on You, and You say, 'Who touched Me?' 5:24-30
God loves His creation. All of it, for God is love. He made man in His image -- every man. Every woman. Every person on this green Earth is made in God's image. We all bear that likeness.
I've posited before a loosely Platonic idea that every individual is formed uniquely after God. I propose that perhaps a way to understand this is to see every individual as their own ideal form. That is to say, my soul (as well as yours) is a handcrafted thing from which no other thing was made. We are each our own molds. If that were to be true, then it could also perchance stand to reason that each person carries forth within them a specific aspect of God's character that only that person has embedded within the fabric of their soul.
If I am seeking to know Bob Dylan -- it would be fruitful for me to connect with his creation, that being his music. Then, if my sole purpose is to know Bobby D. as best as possible, every soul has value, every note speaks to his nature unfolded.
There are nearly 7 billion human beings. That's a hell of a portfolio.
Knowing that the woman who was pressed against me on the bus is loved by God and formed by Him in a manner to which nothing else in the universe was created brings me to a place of awe... as if contemplating a sunset over the Grand Canyon. It also is a helpful tool in reminding me that I should never forget how much care God has crafted into all people -- that I should never tarry from being compassionate and hospitable to creation of my Wonderful Creator. How can I do anything but tirelessly aim to love my neighbor, to love the crowded bus-full of souls as I love myself.
Concerning the photos from The Black Stallion:A few posts back, I spoke of how The Black Stallion should be a Christmas classic. I echo that sentiment here. The story is a simple one about a boy finding passion, love, and purpose through his bond with a horse. The boy is a quiet introvert, and it takes a good while for us to see his mettle in the film, but over time, we see that he is an incredible little soul. It seemed prudent in this post to put up photos of one unique soul, rather than myriads, for I don't reckon God looks at the world as a conglomerate of masses, but as a place chock-full of soulful spirits... each reflecting a different little aspect of God's handiwork.