Crowds are hard for me. I don’t like crowds. They overwhelm me. Completely overwhelm me. When I walk into a crowded room my initial response is to find the door and go and hide in the bathroom.
I thought I was just insecure, but then I took a few personality/strengths/themes tests and realized I am just not wired to like crowds. I prefer dinner with a few good friends rather than big parties with lots of people. I was relieved to understand that I was actually an introvert and that was how God made me.
But, still there are crowds in life. How do I respond when I see crowds of people? How did Jesus respond to crowds?
And Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few, therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” – Matthew 9:35-38
Jesus responded to crowds with compassion. This is a repeated theme throughout the gospels. He healed the sick, cast out demons and raised the dead. He met the needs of the people in the crowds. And He did it all with compassion.
I am always convicted when I read verses about compassion. I don’t think I am naturally very compassionate. But thank God for His grace which changes us and makes us more like Jesus. Here in Manila we are faced with crowds everyday. In the malls and on the streets and everywhere we go, there are so many people. Jesus help me to respond with compassion, not indifference or a callous heart. And remind me to pray earnestly as Jesus told His disciples, “to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”