After church yesterday I positioned myself near the exit as I often do. People I know will come up and we'll talk for a few minutes. It's a great way to see people that I normally don't run into. Only yesterday no one came up and talked to me. Not one. Oh a few people gave me an absent minded wave or 'hiya' but no one stopped.
I was about to take it personally when I saw other people that I'd never seen before, some talking, some alone, some smiling, some pensive. There were a few harried parents trying to herd their kids to the door. I saw all kinds of people from many places in this world, all heading out to their own, personal Sunday afternoons.
Then my eyes landed on a young woman walking in the distance. She was doing some cleanup chore for the church while avoiding everyone's gaze. I remembered seeing her earlier when I was walking outside and noticed that as she walked past us going the other way she moved closer to the wall, farther away from us. And I don't know why. But I want to. So I made a mental note to introduce myself the next time I saw her. I want to know her story - if she'll share it with me.
And I think I get what God was doing by rushing everyone by me: Yesterday I wasn't supposed to schmooze with the people I like and who like me because when I'm busy talking I don't notice anyone or anything else. I think God wants me to be quiet and pay more attention the way that He pays attention: to everyone regardless of how interesting I find them to be. Indeed I think he wants us pay attention to the people who don't get noticed.
Try it sometime. Just stand and watch all of the people around you. All of the beautiful souls on their journeys to eternity. See their expressions, how they walk, how they use their eyes. Imagine what it would be like to be in their shoes, living their dreams, carrying their burdens. And recognize them for the God breathed miracles that they are.
They're all around us, miracles every one. It's the greatest show in the Universe and all we have to do to take it in is just be quiet and look and see.