One of my pet peeves is the lack of customer service we receive these days. My daughter had a recent pharmacy encounter — her medicine was not only not ready when it should have been. When she arrived to pick it up, she was told they were out of stock, and due to a holiday she would have to wait until after the long weekend to get it. Not a good option, when this is a drug you cannot stop taking abruptly without feeling very sick. No help was offered, even though this was a chain pharmacy with other locations. No advice or suggestions were made. She had to call around herself, at the last minute, find a pharmacy that had it, then get her doctor to issue a new prescription.
I could give many more examples, and recently I started mulling over why this is happening. I believe the answer is simply this — we’ve stopped seeing other people as human beings who have feelings and need our help. Social media certainly helps this to happen. We can send a text or email without having to look someone in the eye. Having too many chores on our plate adds to the problem. Companies are all trying to save money by doing more with less. Employees are just “human resources” and it doesn’t matter if they’re courteous or kind — it’s all about efficiency and the bottom line. We’re so busy “multi-tasking” we’ve stopped caring about one another. We’ve stopped seeing each other.
I guess that’s enough of a rant. The point I want to make is this — Jesus took the time to really look at people. He saw them as individuals. He loved them and had compassion for them. For example, the rich, young man in Mark:
“And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, ….” Mark 10:21
when he raised the son of a grieving widow:
“When the Lord saw her, He had compassion on her and said to her, “Do not weep.” Luke 7:13
and when he called the tax collector, Matthew:
As Jesus passed on from there, he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax booth, and he said to him, ‘Follow me.'” Matthew 9:9
Jesus was a busy man. He was a man with a mission. He had crowds and his disciples following Him. Yet he took the time to look at people, to really see them, and understand their needs. He tried to help them, or offer them an opportunity. He cared.
Of course, we’re not God and we can’t see into hearts, as Christ could. But we can often see when someone is confused; we can tell when they’re desperate; we can hear anger in their tone of voice. We can be Christlike by answering their questions, by having compassion, by offering help or by just taking the time to listen.
As Peter reminds us in his letter
“… all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart and a humble mind.” 1 Peter 3:8
The next time you interact with someone, however briefly, be like Jesus. See them.
For more about listening to others see:
Joan’s Pet Peeve #2– Is Anybody Listening?