Noticed …

It started with a hello, a beaming smile and a quick hug. A wish for a good day was followed with a furrowed brow reminder that the Blue Jays play tonight and I had better watch. The little score keeper told me he loved me and was off to start his day.

It started with a smile to a clerk in my favourite home decor and kitchen store. It became a name asked as a question and a confirming smile. A former student, who thank goodness had a name tag, remembered me from her elementary school days. If she’s a university student, that made me this side of ancient. It became a what are you up to conversation and questions about family members. She couldn’t believe she was speaking to me and I couldn’t fathom having run into her. Apparently, I look the same. (Is that a good thing?!)

There’s something precious about being known. No better way to start a day than with a hug, a sign of love and an outpouring of affection. There’s something heartwarming about being remembered. Tucked away in the recesses of someone’s mind and called to the forefront in a moment of remembrance.

Who am I in the business of noticing?

Jesus took the moment to find Zacchaeus stuck in a tree. The crowd should have gotten in the way. When others looked through and around, Jesus spotted the little man tucked into the branches. He went to the man’s house, had dinner, and was part of the restoration process in Zacchaeus’ life.

Jesus noticed the woman. He’d been snubbed. His feet were still dirty, covered in dust from the day’s journey. She had melted into the crowd around Simon’s courtyard and suddenly couldn’t help herself. Instead of hiding in the shadows of the background, she’d worked her way up to the table’s edge and found Jesus. In love she washed his feet, anointed them with the most expensive and precious thing she had, shamed herself by drying his feet with her hair. Her act was so public, but Jesus didn’t ignore her, He noticed her. She loved well and lavishly. She was forgiven much.

Jesus noticed his disciples. He’d found them all in interesting ways and places. Some were sitting under trees. Others were tending nets. He choose the outcast tax collector and the deceptive, greedy thief. This cobbled together group of men spent three years walking and talking together. Lessons were taught, observed, absorbed and promptly forgotten. Rinse and repeat the process again. Jesus poured into these men the truths they would repeat after He had ascended into heaven. He noticed them. He knew them well. He understood the intentions of their hearts better than they did.

Who am I noticing?

I’m frequently distracted by the bright lights and pulsing intensity of the immediate. The in-your-face one who demands all the attention. However, for every attention seeker, there’s someone else who is desperately hoping that there will be a kind word, a moment of uninterrupted time, a gesture of support and love for them. It’s the quiet ones that worry me. Do I notice them enough? Do I pay attention to their more reticent requests? Do I honour them the way I should?

Father, forgive me for the times I’ve been too busy to pay attention. You’ve poured out blessings into me in ways most unexpected. May I be generous and intentional in my often feeble attempts to notice others. Would your love flow through me so that others hearts will be filled with your love as mine was today. Amen.

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