Mr. Smith was burned out. After years in his
profession he had lost heart to do even the most menial of
people-oriented tasks. In some professions, those who serve within the
profession speak about a calling to do various kinds of work. For Mr.
Smith, the call had long been forgotten. He could not remember anything
about what got him into the profession in the first place. Every day was
now a chore of unending boredom and a fight to keep his mind alive.
Thoughts about his true intentions and his motivation to serve others
brought no feeling. His spiritual life had dried up into nothing.
Everything was now a formality. He loathed doing normal tasks of
serving, a time when persons in people-oriented professions can do some
of their best work. His heart was definitely not in the calling to his
Mr. Smith had, for some time, considered other
career options. He had been scanning the help wanted ads but found
nothing of interest. On day in his local newspaper there appeared an ad
for persons to do beta testing for new software. Mr. Smith was computer
savvy and found the idea of being a beta tester to be intriguing. He
responded to the ad by email and waited for a response.
A few days later he received a phone call in his
office from the E-max Software Company. The caller informed Mr. Smith
that E-max was looking for someone to beta test new software,
particularly persons in people-oriented professions. The caller asked
Mr. Smith’s help to beta test a new product. Mr. Smith was to be paid
a fee for his services. Mr. Smith agreed to begin testing the software
sent to him, although he thought it odd no resume was required.
Within two days Express Delivery delivered a
package containing the first software CD from E-max. Although Mr. Smith
was behind in preparing for his next presentation, he pushed the
presentation preparation task aside in favor of his new beta testing
Mr. Smith placed the CD from E-max in the CD drive
and the program booted up requesting installation on his hard drive. Mr.
Smith clicked on the familiar OK button and the software installed
itself within a few minutes. On the monitor came a request for his zip
code. Mr. Smith noted his modem was unplugged and started to plug his
modem in but thought he would type in his zip code first. Mr. Smith
thought this part of the program was some kind of registration
requirement and thought he would have to plug in his modem to register
the software. However, there was no registration request. What happened
next was a shock. There appeared on the monitor a list of all the people
Mr. Smith had ever known in his life. From the time he was a toddler to
the present day, all the names of all the people he had known were
listed on the screen. There were several pages of names. Names of people
were listed from his grade school, high school, college, post-graduate
work, and people in the various groups he served. There was a small
message box at the bottom of the screen that said “click on a name.”
Mr. Smith saw the name of Esther Johnson. Esther was a nursing home
resident who was someone he had visited about three months ago. Esther
was a friend of someone in his present group and he drudgingly made the
visit to the nursing home as a favor to Esther’s friend. His visit
with the women was not long. Out-of-office visits with people in need
were now routine and done without any heart, thought, or feeling. Mr.
Smith clicked on Esther’s name and in a second, images began to appear
on his monitor. Mr. Smith could see Esther, he could see her heart, he
could see her spirit, and he could see her soul. He could see her heart
breaking from loneliness. He could see how the nursing home staff coldly
treated her only as a thing without making any personal connection to
her. He could see Satan hacking away at her heart, soul, and spirit by
trying to get her to doubt there was a God. He could see her physical
pain and suffering. For the first time in ages, Mr. Smith was moved. The
images disappeared and the list of names appeared again with the same
message box at the bottom of the screen telling Mr. Smith to click on a
With his heart still hurting at seeing the images
of Esther, Mr. Smith clicked on the name of Bill Patterson. Bill was a
solid member of Mr. Smith’s group. Bill was a board member on various
social and religious groups, volunteered for every church function, and
faithfully attended every church service with Bill’s wife and
children. What Mr. Smith saw was Bill Patterson at home and at work. Mr.
Smith saw Bill’s wife turn into an evil person at home. Bill’s wife
was a person full of anger and wrath who vented the anger at Bill in
various ways. Mr. Smith also saw Bill Patterson at work. Mr. Smith could
see Bill’s temptation at wanting real companionship with the women in
Bill’s office. On the screen Mr. Smith could see Satan tearing up the
heart of Bill Patterson with temptations. Mr. Smith could see that Bill
Patterson consistently resisted these temptations in favor of doing
God’s will and in favor of keeping his family in tact. On the screen
was Bill’s love for his children, his respect for his wife, his holy
attitude toward marriage, and Bill’s love for Christ. On the screen
Mr. Smith could see the pain and suffering in Bill’s heart as a result
of his wife’s anger and Bill’s loneliness. Mr. Smith’s heart broke
as he saw at the images on the screen.
The images of Bill Smith faded away and on the
screen again came the list of names. On the list was a list of persons
who were listed as Name Unknown. In his brokenness, and for reasons he
could not articulate, Mr. Smith clicked on one of the persons listed as
Name Unknown. On the screen was an image of a homeless man. The homeless
man a few months ago had knocked on the door of Mr. Smith’s office
asking for food. Mr. Smith abruptly said “Sorry, we don’t have
anything here. Try the mission downtown. They give out free meals in the
evening.” Images of the homeless man appeared on the screen. On the
screen were images of the homeless man as a little boy living on the
streets, living in alleys, and afraid to go home at night for fear his
mother and father would beat him and molest him. On the screen Mr. Smith
could see Satan devastating the boy’s heart and soul. On the screen
Mr. Smith could see the boy’s spirit being destroyed as a teenager by
Satan’s use of drugs and alcohol against the youth. On the screen was
the homeless man going to prison and the abuse the man suffered in
prison. On the screen was the devastated heart of the homeless man
seeking food at Mr. Smith’s door. Mr. Smith felt the devastation. Mr.
Smith felt the emptiness. Mr. Smith felt the physical hunger, the
spiritual hunger, and the hopelessness of the man he had turned away.
Mr. Smith turned away from his computer. Mr. Smith
doubled over in his chair from the devastation he had seen on his
monitor and he soon fell out of his chair and onto his knees from the
burdens he felt. Mr. Smith was on his knees because of the burdens of
others. Mr. Smith was on his knees because he had been blind to the
hearts and lives of others. Mr. Smith could now see others as they
really are rather than as Mr. Smith wanted them to be. Never before had
he seen the hearts of others like he saw them now… Never before had he
let himself see the lives of others like he saw them now… On his
knees, Mr. Smith wept with a broken heart. He wept with a broken heart
for others…something that had never happened before. As he wept, Mr.
Smith prayed for others in a way he never prayed before. As he wept, Mr.
Smith prayed that God would give him a new heart, a new mission, a new
service, and a new life grounded in God’s love and call to serve
others. On the floor, on his knees before God, Mr. Smith experienced a
new resolve. He did not experience a new heart, a new mission, a new
ministry, or a new life, but he did experience a new resolve to see
others as they really were. Mr. Smith no longer thought about leaving
his profession. Mr. Smith now thought more about what he could do for
others than about what he was missing.
Mr. Smith looked back at his computer, but saw no
shipping box sitting on top of the CPU where he had placed the box. He
looked at the screen but saw no list of names. He pushed the button on
his CD drive and as the drive door opened, he saw no CD from E-max
Software. He searched through a pile of papers on his desk to find the
ad for E-max, and upon finding the newspaper, he found no ad for a beta
tester circled in red.
For several hours Mr. Smith thought and prayed. The
next day he visited with Esther, visited with Bill Patterson at work,
and met with the homeless man who he found on the street near the
homeless mission downtown. As the days passed by, Mr. Smith began to see
the heart of the people in his group. He began to see their struggles.
He began to see they were like sheep without a shepherd. As the days
passed by, Mr. Smith began to experience a new heart, a new mission, a
new calling, and a new life because he began to see the hearts of
he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed
and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.
Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because
they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many
Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed
called his disciples to him and said, "I have compassion for these
people; they have already been with me three days and have nothing to
eat. I do not want to send them away hungry, or they may collapse on the
had compassion on them and touched their eyes. Immediately they received
their sight and followed him.
with compassion, Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. "I
am willing," he said. "Be clean!"
we not all supposed to have His compassion? Are we not all supposed to
see others as He sees them?
or company names appearing in this story are facetious. Any resemblance
to any person living or dead is purely coincidental.