I follow this amazing page on Facebook called (HONY) “Humans of New York.” Ever heard of it? It’s inspiring! The purpose of the page is simply this: to document New York City one story at a time.
As you can imagine, the contagious effect of this page has virally inspired thousands of other photographers to step up and launch pages for their own cities: Humans of Bombay, Humans of Kabul, Humans of Chicago, Humans of Madrid. I’m sure you could spend a whole day on Facebook tracking down all the pages. I even recently liked a page for my own city: Humans of Kelowna.
I love stories.
I love people.
When the two collide I’m a big ol’ bawling mess.
Mess I tell you.
It’s all got me thinking.
What about Humans of My Neighbourhood? Humans of My Block? Humans of My Street? Humans of Next Door? Truth is, every single person has a story to tell – not just the ones professionally photographed and virally seen and shared on social media.
Our greatest challenge in life is not in being moved to inspiration, it is being moved to action – to be inspired in such a way that we are compelled to do something.
And that’s exactly what Brandon (founder) did for me when he launched HONY. He challenged me to look at my own life, my own city, my own neighbourhood, my own block, my own street. Meaning, I moved into my current house a couple of months ago and so far I only know 12 neighbours. It’s not enough. I need to know more. I need to be a light in my neighbourhood. HONY has challenged and deeply inspired me to get to know the stories of my own neighbours. Why? Because Mark 12:28-31.
Do we not call ourselves Humans of The Cross?
One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?” “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”
My challenge for you today is this: notice your neighbourhood, notice your block, notice your street, notice your neighbours… and ask God to filter your eyes to see your pocket of the world the way HE sees it.
P.S The HONY page is currently featuring stories of refugees in Europe. It is tear jerking and gut wrenching, but it is also beautiful and so helpful in putting names and faces to the crisis we are all facing.