Lately, I feel like God is reminding me to notice.
Notice detail, notice people, notice Him. Because I haven’t been. And noticing is a prerequisite to thankfulness, praise, worship and action. I’m bumping along life without recognition, like the blind man who wasn’t completely healed and saw people walking around that looked like trees. I need Jesus to restore my vision completely. Because I have forgotten how to SEE people.
As I reach around my one-year-old strapped to my front, searching for my wallet and watching for my three-year-old who is most likely pulling all the chip bags off the stand or smearing the display case glass with finger prints, it catches me off guard when the cashier behind the counter asks me, “How is your day going?” or “Have you had a good morning?” The first few times this happened after moving to Colorado, I’m sure I just looked at them with my mouth hanging slightly open. Chicago is not an unfriendly city, but perfect strangers didn’t usually ask me such personal questions. How was I supposed to answer?
But the question, though I now realize was not a true venture into how I am feeling at the current moment, rocked me, because I hadn’t even noticed a person was there until they spoke to me. Worse, I would have gone through our entire interaction without even looking them in the eye.
In The Weight of Glory, C.S. Lewis says, “It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest most uninteresting person you can talk to may one day be a creature which,if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare. All day long we are, in some degree helping each other to one or the other of these destinations. It is in the light of these overwhelming possibilities, it is with the awe and the circumspection proper to them, that we should conduct all of our dealings with one another, all friendships, all loves, all play, all politics. There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations – these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit – immortal horrors or everlasting splendors.”
People are eternal. And every.single.one. is made in the image of God Himself. So when I don’t see people, I don’t see God.
Lately, I have not only failed to notice strangers, but I have even forgotten to notice the people who are right in front of me–my children and husband. Now, I believe in rest, alone time, naps and hobbies, but I have begun ignoring my children even during times when I could be fully present with them. Scrolling Facebook during bath time, texting while I sit with them on the floor, and spacing out when they ask me questions, I spend the day lamely multi-tasking when I would be better off focusing on one activity at a time–mainly, my children. And I’m missing out.
And though love is not a fairy tale, how often do I take a second and really gaze into my husband’s eyes? How often do I think about him during the day or sit and talk with him face-to-face instead of operating in survival mode, ticking off tasks as we work side-by-side? When did I stop leaving him little love notes or sweet texts? Have I prayed for him today, yesterday or anytime recently?
The word I’ve chosen to focus on this year is “enjoy,” which begins with noticing. When I set aside my phone and to-do lists and intentionally notice people, I can begin to enjoy the people all around me.
If I would only ACCEPT that the pace of my life right now with two kids under three needs to be slower than I’ve ever been used to, I’ll begin to notice God in the details more than I ever have. For nature, strangers, friends, family, my children and my husband are really displays of the splendor of God at work all around me. If I will only take the time to notice.
Do you notice people?
How do you notice God?
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