Taking Time to Notice Others

Well I am back at Starbucks. The music is a little more upbeat today. A mix between techno and R and B is ringing in my ear as I sit on a big stuffed chair drinking a chi latte once again. This is a beautiful day. So many people are out and about. For now though, my world is confined to this chair with a chi latte to my left and my laptop.

There is a man talking on his phone in Spanish. I am sure he doesn’t know that I can translate his words; he is nervous about asking out a girl. I am guessing that he is talking to a friend or someone. He keeps wiping his hands on his pants and shaking his head. I don’t mean to be nosy but I just heard him say he does not think things will work out. I wonder if they will. I believe her name is Anna or Anita. I am not sure cause he is too far away.

Another couple has just entered. A man has a birthmark on a large part of his face yet he smiles big. Another man and his wife sit next to him; perhaps they are family. They sit and discuss the week’s activities planned. Over a cup of coffee, and a marshmallow square, they laugh the time away.

Finally there is another person sitting along studying feverishly while slaving over her computer. It seems as though her stress level is great. I should probably lift her up in prayer; I do not even know her name.

This might seem like a meaningless post but I find an important fact in all of this. If I had never taken the time to stop and live, I would have not noticed these people sitting around me in Starbucks this evening. Each person would have been only a small glance of unknown faces and. There would have been no difference between a rock and these people in my mind; they would have had no life in my memory; they probably would not exist.

I do not mean to get philosophical about this but I find our ability to see people as individuals among us is a difficult task. We are so consumed with our own worries and stress, we put aside others who live and breathe. If we do not intentionally create an environment where we see people, how can we love others greater than ourselves? Perhaps this is a pointless post but I find reassurance in seeing the people around me. It helps me maintain a heart for others.

Jesus was one who noticed people wherever he went. He saw their hurt and pain and had compassion on them. If we never take the right measure to notice the people around us, how can we ever do likewise?

The challenge is simple today. Take time to notice the people around you. Take inventory on who they are and what they are doing. Are they studying for an exam? Are they nervous about asking out someone? Or are they just enjoying the company of a few good friends? The best place to do this is while sitting in the food court at the mall. Some many people consumed with themselves, there are so many people to see. We can do better at this. It only takes time. Time out of our own personal lives to notice others. It I exactly what we are called to do – we can be like Jesus. God bless.

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