A few weeks ago at church we were challenged to set aside time in our schedule in the weeks ahead to look at people. As in, intentionally schedule time to go to a busy place and just sit and observe, to take notice. We were to just watch and listen and be awakened to the people around us. Shouldn't we be doing this on a daily basis? Well, yes, of course. We don't, though, do we?
Just like we can hear without listening, we can look without really seeing. I can so often buzz in and out of stores, the gym, church, or the market and not really take in a single thing because I'm on a mission or have that next thing on the schedule to get to. Meanwhile, I will have walked past a struggling mom who needs a hand with her stroller, someone digging for that last 5 cents of change or maybe I could have noticed a glance, a tear or a smile and acknowledged it. There are people I see every day... people whom I genuinely love and care for... that I have missed noticing when something is not quite right because I am focused on my own agenda.
I'm not getting all guilt trippy here... but I am realizing and wanting to remember that there is so much pain, there are so many stories and so many needs. Sometimes just a smile, nod or kleenex offered will be enough. Aren't we all aching to be seen, heard, noticed, offered hope or even acknowledgement that we exist. I sure need it. God help me to be aware and to be looking.