I hate to admit this, but sometimes I get through an entire day and realize I can’t remember a single face of any of the strangers I’ve crossed paths with. Be they waiters, ticket takers or store clerks. I’m usually too busy thinking about earth-shattering issues like what to have for lunch.
So today I deliberately tried to “see” each person I came in contact with. (No, I did not fling my arms around them for a bear hug … maybe next time.)
Just when I started to think it was the wimpiest good deed ever, a funny thing happened.
I was seated at a local restaurant, and the trainee waitress serving me — who’d already dropped cutlery, spilled water and forgotten the daily specials — seemed to relax as soon as I looked her straight in the eye, smiled and placed my order. (Could’ve been my imagination of course.)
What prompted me to try this in the first place, you may ask? This may sound extremely sappy, but it was the homily in church today.
I’m the first to admit that my mind tends to wander during most sermons but this one really got to me, especially the following part (I tried to surreptitiously scribble down what he was saying, which piqued my mother’s curiosity no end, and the first part was included in the bulletin):
Stop, look and listen
“Stop the inner chatter and the outer noise, just for a while.
“Look, really look, with time, focus and attention at the person talking to you, the task at hand, the bird in the tree.
“Listen, listening is a decision to receive with open hands whatever God is giving you. … or asking of you … to use your hearts and voices, hands and feet to do what you can to bring hope and healing to a broken world.”
P.S. Angels. Enjoy!