Too Close to See

She squeezed into a spot at the back of the crowded room, bodies pressed together in psuedo-unity, mostly just sharing body odor. They had all come to worship, but now were shouting insults and threatening all manner of evil against the young man who, apparently, had just finished reading the scripture.

She asked the sweaty man next to her what had happened...why was the group so angry?

"He speaks apostasy! He claims to be the fulfillment of scripture written by the prophet Isaiah!"

What scripture, she wonders?

Consequence of arriving late, she wonders at the crowd's movements, lacking the time to draw her own conclusions. She isn't even sure she knows who this man is.

Then -- the memory. It's his eyes. As the crowd presses him toward the door of the synagogue, he passes and their eyes lock for just a few seconds. She sees hazel and green and that yellow fleck and is immediately reminded of childhood picnics, tree climbing, laughter and teasing. It's been more than twenty years since those carefree days of youth -- life had taken them different directions.

Now a soft smile, barely there, and the crowd carries him out and down the streets to the edge of town.

She follows, running behind, worried, amazed at the fever of this mob. Do they even know him? How could they and still threaten and condemn? He is nothing but good -- gentle, kind, patient -- always rescuing, always caring.

She remembers one day of play in particular. They had been racing down the street, the two of them and three or four other friends. She tripped on a raised cobble and fell, sprawling, scraping knees and elbows, crying out. The rest ran on, but He heard and ran back to her -- "what happened? are you OK?" -- helping her up, checking her wounds, offering to help her hobble home. He went way out of her way to help her.

But she hadn't seen Him for so many years, after her had family moved away.

She realizes:
At some point, the people in this mob must have been so close to this Son of Joseph that they no longer saw Him. They passed him in the streets at age twelve, at age seventeen, at age twenty-two. When he was young, they sent him with messages for Joseph. They complained to Mary about his lack of formal education. They watched him play, they saw him carve wood. Soon, they didn't see Him anymore. He became part of the scenery, nothing special. Just another Man from Nazareth.

"But isn't this the son of Joseph who had a carpenter shop in town? How then can this young man apply all these things to Himself?"
Luke 4:22 Clear Word

She chases, wanting to shout above the din of the crowd -- "I know Him, I knew Him before...I know He is good."

If He says He is the Deliverer....I believe Him. You just need to open your eyes and see Him again, for the first time.
But no one was listening. And they must have been more blind than she thought, for soon they found themselves looking around at each other, looking all over for Him...the one they had once corralled, driven to the brink -- they couldn't see Him anywhere.

They were too close to really see Him. And now He was gone.