Two observations hit me when I arrive at London Heathrow airport.
The first is: I’m home.
Although I haven’t lived in England for…well, many years, that quirky-shaped little island the other side of the Atlantic is heart-shaped to me.
I will always be British regardless of how long I have lived out of the country. Born on the east coast, my family are now spread across the south of England. My husband’s family comes from the north. My daughter is a Londoner, although she hasn’t lived there since six-weeks-old.
As our plane lands in London, I want to respond like the Pope, who walks down the steps from the airplane, gets on his knees, and kisses the ground. This is not a sign of relief for finally being on terra firma, although sometimes a bumpy flight can make me feel that way, but love and respect for the country and its people.
However, I usually disembark using a jet bridge. By the time I’ve negotiated passport control, baggage claim, and customs I’ve forgotten all about this act of reverence and, anyway, the airport terminal floor doesn’t look that clean.
Instead, I anticipate what waits for me on the other side of the double doors, which swing open as I approach.
A throng of faces of all ages, colors, and nationalities stares at me. I wish I spied a familiar one. A motley group of limousine drivers line up with cards displaying long or short, and often unpronounceable, names. I squeeze my way past women in saris, some in burkas with small children trailing alongside them, sun-burned retiree couples back from a week of tanning in the Costa del Sol, babies held on mother’s hips, and airline flight attendants, noticeable in their sleek uniforms, making much faster progress towards the exit than myself.
This is Heathrow! It is, after all, one of the busiest airports in the world. Travelers arrive, depart, and pass through on their way to many worldwide destinations: Bangalore, Singapore, Dubai, Cape Town, and Boston.
Some spill over into the huge, throbbing, cosmopolitan city of London.
Yet, one more thing strikes me: God sees the masses, and he loves each and every person.
We know this from scripture: Jesus saw the crowds and had compassion on them. At the same time, Jesus cared for each man, woman and child. He likened people to sheep and himself to a shepherd. He called himself the Good Shepherd, who would search for and rescue even one lost sheep.
Jesus may see a multitude, but He knows every individual.
God sees you when you feel harassed and you’re on a long difficult journey. God knows if you have lost your way, and feel helpless. God understands if you find yourself in a desolate place, and don’t know which way to turn.
Take comfort that you’re not lost in a sea of faces, or your needs are insignificant to other people’s problems. God loves and has time for you.
Jesus also instructed his followers to go out into the world and feed his sheep.
Today, in big cities, the world comes to us. Look around you. Notice the individuals who cross your path; the woman working alongside you, the man serving you in the store, and the family member living life with you. How can you feed them with God’s love?
This week, I am linking up with Kim Cunningham at #LittleThingsThursday, Amy Schlichter at #LookingUp, Susannah Kellogg at #FaithandFellowship, Susan Mead at #DancewithJesus, Holly Barrett at #TestimonyTuesday, Kelly Balarie at #RaRaLinkup and Crystal Storms at #IntentionalTuesday, Natalie Venegas at Salt & Light, Susan B. Mead at #DanceWithJesus, Arabah Joy at Grace & Truth