This is a short follow-up to my last post: Do you see a crowd or do you see “the one”?
While my thoughts in the post were primarily about the church setting, I’m really trying to get better at this in my everyday personal life. So often when I’m out and about, I’m focused on myself and what I need to get done. If I’m out to dinner, I’m focused on the fact that I’m hungry and having a conversation with my companion. I often don’t really “see” the people around me – like the store clerk, waitress, other shoppers, etc.
In an increasingly virtual and impersonal world, I think we need to really think of Jesus and how the eternal God came near and stepped into our humanity. We need to mentally slow down, take the time to really see, and pray for perception. It can be as simple as taking the time to notice the waitress or store clerk’s name, and actually using their name! “Thanks Tina for your service today!” Be more observant, and you may also notice that someone appears to have underlying stress and could use an encouraging word or a little grace.
There can be various reasons for getting bad service…laziness, incompetence…or maybe the person is really trying hard but is having a bad day or is under a terrible load of personal, behind-the-scenes stress. Being a little more observant and praying for perception may help you note the difference, and cut someone a break just when they really need it. If in doubt, lean towards grace.
This is hard, I know. This post is a speech to myself that I’m letting you listen to! Instead of only seeing crowds or looking past people, try to see “the one” – like Jesus so often did! I think we miss opportunities every day to minister and show the love of Christ because we are just so busy, self-focused, and haven’t spent time in prayer.