When I was younger, I came across a pastime known as “people watching”. Every now and then, a friend and I would find ourselves in the front of a coffee shop, and the two of us watched the outside world. We’d sit there, comment, and take it all in.
As I’ve grown up. I’ve realised that was stupid. Coffee shops are not where the action is found. For real people watching, go to a train station! Preferably a nice big train station. You get to see people who lost, confused, and sometimes saying good bye. But you also get to see people having laugh, relaxing, and being reunited with loved ones. Even if its just their luggage. This is where you really get to see people at their most emotional… People watching at its best…
The other Monday, I found myself upgrading from “People Watching” to “Manic Christmas Crowd Watching”. You see, I made two mistakes on that day:
- I thought that Christmas shopping on a week day would be easy.
- As I work in technical support, I looked for shelter from the Manic Christmas Crowd in a local computer store. I figured it would be quieter, that I could gaze at gadgets I couldn’t afford, as well as possibly get an idea of what some of our customers may be calling in about after Christmas.
I thought it would be a space to build my nerves up to take on the Christmas crowd again. As I burst into a space to breath, I became aware that I wasn’t in a quiet breathing space, but I was surrounded by yet another Manic Christmas Crowd.This crowd seemed different to the normal type.
This lot weren’t storming from one place to another. They looked a little slower, some looked a little lost, some fairly stressed. I heard people mutter about prices, how fast it goes, and if it was ADSL compatible. Yes I was in that section of the shop.
Various emotions and various needs, but be it on with new iPhone, router, or printer, the members of this particular manic crowd were all looking for new ways to connect with people. Part of me wonders if we’re all part of this crowd at times.
Looking back over the sight of that confused rugby scrum, part of me wonders:
- Where does the Church fit in a world of people, looking for new and faster ways of connecting?
- Do we concentrate so much on individual meetings, that we forget about connecting with people during their lives?
- What do you think?
Above originally appeared on The Big Bible)
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