People-watching. I know people who love to watch people. I know people who could sit for hours just watching people. Just observing. Just taking mental, yet fleeting, notes on the people they watch. Differences, similarities, actions, interactions, quirks, flaws, etc. For people who watch people, these individualities are fascinating.
Personally, I find it a little creepy. If I get the drift that someone is watching me, I get very self-conscious. So I move. I turn my back on them if I can.
I had a little time to kill before work one day this week so I stopped into our local grocery store’s café. From the moment I walked up to the counter, the cashier couldn’t stop watching me. She stared at me as I ordered…and after I ordered…and as I went to fill my coffee…and as I sat in the booth waiting for my breakfast. I’m telling you it was creepy. But maybe she was just a people-watcher.
Did you know Jesus was a people-watcher too? One day after He taught in the temple courts He “sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury” (Mark 12:41). Just watching. Just observing. Just taking mental notes on people as they came into the temple and dropped their money in. He noticed that rich people threw in large amounts. But then He saw a widow throw in “two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents” (Mark 12:42).
At this point, people-watching ended, and life lessons began. He called His disciples to Him and said, “The truth is that this poor widow gave more to the collection than all the others put together. All the others gave what they’ll never miss; she gave extravagantly what she couldn’t afford—she gave her all” (Mark 12:43-44, MSG).
The rich gave a tiny part of their surplus, a little of their extra fat. They gave what they didn’t need. They played it safe.
But the poor widow gave extravagantly, gave what she couldn’t afford. She gave her last. She gave her all. She went all out.
I wonder—in our giving, in our serving, in our loving—are we playing it safe or going all out? As we give, as we serve, and as we love others, are we only offering a tiny part of our surplus?
For me, there’s another whole lesson in this tiny little four-verse passage recorded in Mark. As I picture this scene in my mind—the temple hustling and bustling with folks in and out, the sound of coins being dropped in the temple bucket, Jesus sitting there watching it all take place—the eyes of my mind aren’t drawn to the crowd. They’re drawn to Jesus. I’m watching Jesus watching people. I’m so fascinated by Him, I don’t want to miss a thing He does or says.
I wonder—in all our hustling and bustling, in all our people-watching—do we even notice Jesus? Do we even see Him? Do we even acknowledge Jesus in our giving, in our serving, and in our loving?
People-watching is one thing. Jesus watching is another.
This week–in your giving, serving, and loving–let extravagance be the rule, not the exception. And this week, notice people, but see Jesus.