Lately I’ve been thinking about anonymity.
If I am being honest, I like that feeling. The feeling of going to a coffee shop and getting your warm drink and sitting behind your computer, or with a book, or a journal and feeling like no one knows you. Or the feeling of going to a grocery store, pushing your own cart, looking through aisles, thinking of past conversations…thinking of conversations I want to have, thinking of the next thing to do. The feeling of being surrounded by people, yet no one knows you. I truly enjoy this feeling. I think that is why I love going to Target when I don’t really need anything or why I need to go to a coffee shop by myself once in a while.
But then I think that we were never meant to be anonymous.
I like to imagine myself as one of the people who followed Jesus up to a mountainside. I imagine myself being a little shy, a little skeptical, a little giddy to meet this Jesus who has been doing things I’ve never heard of before. I imagine myself walking with five thousand people. And I feel anonymous. I feel lost in this crowd of people who want to be around this man named Jesus. I think I feel a little silly, why are we going to meet this man? But my heart also beats with excitement, because I just have a hunch that He’s a good one.
There are so many conversations going on at once.
There’s too many of us.
Different faces, clothes, so many different voices.. Children, parents, grandparents all gather to see this Jesus. I am lost in a sea of people. But I want to meet him too.
I hear someone say they will feed us. Now that I think about it, I am hungry. My tummy is a bit hungry after that long walk to get here.
I wonder how they’ll feed us all. There’s a little boy who hands over what looks like bread and fish. I can’t see how much food he had, but I am sure not enough to feed us all. I see Jesus take them, He prays, and starts handing it out.
Somehow, the bread and fish makes its way around. We all sit. The noise ceases. We sit and eat. We talk. We laugh. We rest. We realize this Jesus is the real deal.
And somehow even though I am only one of the five thousand, I feel known.
Jesus’ presence is piercing. To the core of who I am. I feel fed, not only because of the fish and bread I ate, but because He feels like coming home.
I think I found the one whom my heart beats for.
Bob Goff articulates community in this way:
God made us then whispered “think symphony, not solo.” Individually capable, collectively unbelievable.
I think God is always whispering “Symphony, beloved.”
We were never meant to be anonymous. Going through life as the person who pushes their cart alone thinking about the hard things in life, or the person in the corner of a coffee shop. We were made to be called by name. We were made to celebrate small victories together. We were made to mourn together. We were made to be known, and accepted, and forgiven, and included, and welcomed, and refined, and loved…loved well, fiercely, boldly, tenderly. We were meant to be part of a symphony.
I am someone who likes to think things through by myself, I like to go on walks by myself, I like to go through hard times by myself, I like to come to conclusions by myself. And yes solo, I am capable, well clumsily capable. But capable is short of what God wants for us. He wants extraordinary. He wants unbelievable. He wants us to experience being known and loved and cared for in a sea of 5,000. He wants to know we are adored and thought about.
I may be one of the 5,000. I could just be a face in a crowd. I may have been missed by John and Phillip and Andrew, and the rest of the disciples helping to distribute the fish & bread. But Jesus, He doesn’t miss a thing. He calls me part of His symphony. He calls me part of the story of redemption He has been writing since the beginning of time.
My prayer today is that I stop and listen to the symphony.