Monday, August 15, 2016

Open my Eyes and Ears and Heart. Help me NOTICE.

A couple of Sundays ago, I was so caught up in conversation with a friend, that I barely NOTICED when a sweet young friend, handed me a page of artwork. I told her "Thank you so much" and hugged her, but not until I got in my car did I take the time to look at what she had given me. I NOTICED the amazing details and obvious quite time-consuming work of art, the colors, and.the words, "Donna, I <3 U". I was ashamed of myself and went back to find her to show my appreciation, but she wasn't there. I connected with her later, but it just wasn't the same as NOTICING right then and there when she gave it to me. I heard Andy Stanley talking about his latest book, “The Noticer.” In it he tells the true story of an old drifter who had a special gift for seeing what others miss. He says, “It only takes a little ‘perspective’ to recognize the miracles in our moments...." Oftentimes we are so consumed with our own needs, wants, pains, struggles, and desires, that we fail to be NOTICERS of others. Did you enjoy the chocolate left on your pillow at the hotel, but did you NOTICE the one who put it there? Did you enjoy your meal, but did you really NOTICE the waitress who brought it to you? Maybe it's time for us to NOTICE the UNNOTICED people around us. What’s the big deal about NOTICING? Noticing is being actively present “in the moment”. Our busy schedules AND minds often keep us distracted from the situations and moments at hand. When we take control of our minds and our thinking instead of our minds having a free-for-all, then we’ll recognize the gentle nudges of God to share, to care, to be a breath of fresh air to someone that needs it today. When we purposefully begin to NOTICE the pain and suffering of someone else, then God can work through us to bring fresh rain to their parched souls.
Jesus NOTICED that wee little man and tax collector, Zaccheaus, up in the tree, He told him to come down and he would go to his home for a meal. He did and He brought salvation to Zaccheaus and his family that day. I wonder when the last time was that someone said, “Zacchaeus, how’s your wife? I heard she was very ill”. Okay, the Bible doesn’t talk about his personal life, but there had to be more to him than just collecting taxes. Suffice it to say, he was probably despised because of his job, but Jesus saw the man behind the position. Jesus NOTICED. Jesus NOTICED the Samaritan woman at the well. His conversation with her led her to become one of His followers. He NOTICED.

NOTICING is paying attention, being present in the moment, looking at people and realizing that they need our care and love. Just maybe if we got in the habit of NOTICING those around us and rather than expecting them to NOTICE us, we could start the ripple effect in others. We NOTICE them, they NOTICE others, and others NOTICE many others. Maybe being a NOTICER is what God had in mind when He said, "Love your neighbor as you love yourself". We are ALWAYS on our mind -- maybe it's time to reverse that to NOTICING others and having THEM on our minds.