I Can See Clearly Now
I met an older couple the other night before the total shutdown. No hugs or handshakes, of course, only shakas. And if you’ve seen my haole shaka, you know it doesn’t make a great first impression.
As we talked about the friends we had in common and our respective churches, I was struck by the attentiveness of both individuals. They stayed locked on my eyes the entire time we spoke. Every little thing I said was met with a “Wow” or “Interesting” in impressed tones.
I walked away from the conversation and told my husband, “I just met that couple, but I feel so important to them. Everything I said, they said, ‘Wow’ in response!”
I was struck by how they made me feel valued through small gestures. Simple, but profound.
Maybe I felt that so keenly because everything else has been stripped away. Much of my life and yours has been cancelled, our calendars made bare, our pace slower.
In this time when so many things that usually bring us significance are no longer part of our day-to-day schedules, what is left of significance?
Here are a few ideas–our common humanity, our deep desire for connection with each other, and our need for closer connection to Jesus.
I believe the typical crowding of our lives makes it harder for us to really see each other. And in this unwanted time of pruning, maybe we can refocus our lenses a little, find a focus and richness in our lives that we haven’t had before.
I really look forward to going back to my favorite coffee shop with the good chai and the taqueria with the Mexico coke, but I don’t want to return to life exactly as it was. I would like to leave some things behind that weren’t all that useful to me. I would like to use my time more wisely and invest in the things/people that matter most.
I would like to move slowly enough to look deeply into other people’s eyes and make them feel seen and valued.
A question for you: Has anything been crowding out your time and attention (pre-virus) that you don’t really need in your life going forward?
Father God, please prune away the busyness and the fillers, and refocus my attention on the things that are worthy of my time. Help me to let go of stuff that uses up my time but doesn’t feed me or bring you glory. Give me eyes to see more like you do. Give me a heart for people that is aligned with yours. Amen.
The next time we connect with a friend via text or other technology, let’s be intentional about calling out the good we see in that person, and saying specifically what we value in the relationship. We all need encouragement in this time. Let’s BE that encouragement to the people in our circles.