Eye Contact

The voice over the loudspeaker said, “Folks, this is a completely full flight. Every seat will be occupied so as you make your way through the cabin look for the person avoiding eye contact. That’s the person you want to plop down beside.” I chuckled and I was not alone. Those chuckling around me were the ones who’ve been there. Done that. Look out the window. Scroll through the cell phone. Anything to avoid looking at people who are walking down the aisle of the plane looking for a seat….the middle seat…next to me on the plane.

Looking someone in the eyes invites connection. It’s the first way we tell someone “I see you”. And if you couple that with a smile…well, you might as well pat the seat next to you and say, “come and sit with me for a while”.

Aren’t you glad that Jesus never avoids our eyes. One of my favorite verses about Jesus is in Matthew 9:36 (ESV). “When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.” It might not be boarding a full flight making us feel harassed and helpless. Today, it might be a work meeting, a school assignment or presentation. There might be a looming doctor appointment or an upcoming conversation with a family member or friend that has us worked up, frenzied, anxious. If that is the case just imagine that Jesus is sitting there, looking at you with eyes of compassion. When your eyes connect you see that smile and a pat on the seat next to Him…and know that He is inviting you to come…and sit for a while.

Jesus won’t put earbuds in or stare out the window or thumb through His newsfeed. The Shepherd is inviting you to come and sit. It doesn’t matter for how long and He wants to hear all about it.

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