Noticing Life

  This is why I speak to them in parables:

  “Though seeing, they do not see;

   though hearing, they do not hear or understand.  Matthew 13:13

I thought that I noticed most things that go on around me…that is until today when I took my grandson with me to do errands.   I came to realize that all too often I can be rather oblivious to the many happenings going on all around me.  I don’t want Jesus to feel about me as the above scripture describes.  I want to be alert to people and situations around me and see them through Jesus’ eyes.

Since my daughter had a Bible study with her neighbor I offered to take her son, Micah (who turned two in February), for several hours.  This week is quite busy for me, so I used this time to go to the post office, gas station and grocery store.  I was taken aback at all that Micah saw while we traveled from his house to the post office, to the gas station and then to the grocery store.  It seemed he noticed everything.  Usually, I just get in the car and go in sort of an autopilot mode.  I can stare into oblivion while I pump gas and move through the market as quickly as possible while trying to remember the things I need to purchase.

When I pulled into the store I quickly transcribed all that I remembered from Micah’s commentary from the previous ten minutes that it took to cover the three miles of our route.  I didn’t want to forget this stream of conversation.

Micah’s reporting began as we pulled out of his driveway ….

There’s my park Nana.  I like to play at the park.  I like to slide.

There are lots of cars on the road.  Vroom, vroom.

I’m on my side in the back seat.  You are on your side, Nana.

There’s a (bull)dozer there.

What’s that noise?

There’s a mailman.  Are we going to the mailman’s house?

Are you going down a hill now?

Who’s in that mommy’s car? (as he notices a car like his mommy drives a few cars ahead of us)

Prob’ly a lady in there.

Are we going by the fire trucks? (as we near the road that leads to the fire station)

What are those guys doing?   (I didn’t see the  guys he comments on so I ask him what guys he is talking about…. to which he responds and answers his own question)….Those guys workin’ in the dump truck.

(As we approach the post office)….I’m excited to get out.  Does the mailman live here?

What are you doing?  What are you doing?  What are you doing now?  What are you doing? (in the post office he engages with the other patrons)

(As we get back in the car and turn the corner where there is a train station)…..There’s the train station.  I won’t be scared when the train comes.  I’ll wait to ride with my dad.  I’m going to wait for the train and go to the city of Boston.

There’s an ambulance.  There’s a digger.  I want to go see the digger. Let’s go see the digger.

Happy Mother’s Day Nana.  (big smile)

(As we go into the grocery we go to the seafood counter so I can buy fish; meanwhile Micah is talking to all the women who are also at the counter. He looks at the fish)….

Nana, are you getting Nemo?…

I realized that I would have likely missed 90% or more of the things, people and sounds that he saw and heard while I was simply focused on getting my errands done.  While listening to Micah’s running commentary and questions, I became much more aware of the people  I could meet, the lessons I could learn and all that was going on around me.  I suddenly began viewing my surroundings through the fresh, eager eyes of a two year old who was eager to take in all that surrounded him.  He was keenly aware of the people and places we encountered.

I went to my Bible tonight to seek to learn from the ways Jesus noticed people and situations and how he responded to them.  He truly saw the people behind the situations.   I noted from the following scriptures ways Jesus noticed their plights, distress, faith and lack of faith.  He responded with what they needed.

When Jesus came into Peter’s house, he saw Peter’s mother-in-law lying in bed with a fever.   Mt 8:14

    Some men brought to him a paralytic, lying on a mat. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven.”  Matthew 9:2

    When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.   Matthew 9:36

When they came to the home of the synagogue ruler, Jesus saw a commotion, with people crying and wailing loudly. [39] He went in and said to them, “Why all this commotion and wailing? The child is not dead but asleep.” [40] But they laughed at him.

    After he put them all out, he took the child’s father and mother and the disciples who were with him, and went in where the child was. [41] He took her by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum!” (which means, “Little girl, I say to you, get up!”).    Mark 5:38-41

    When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.    Mark 10:14

    Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”   Mk 10:21

  When Jesus saw their faith, he said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.”    Luke 5:20

  Jesus looked at him and said, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!    Lk 18:24

    He saw through their duplicity and said to them, [24] “Show me a denarius. Whose portrait and inscription are on it?” … Luke 20:23-24

   As he looked up, Jesus saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. [2] He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. [3] “I tell you the truth,” he said, “this poor widow has put in more than all the others. [4] All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.”    Luke 21:1-4

    When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?”    John 5:6

When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled.   John 11:33

Thanks Micah, for calling me higher today by helping me notice things through your fresh and eager eyes.  May I seek to respond to what I see in the loving and courageous ways that Jesus did.  May I look, and really see!

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  1. Anna

    Thanks! May we strive to be more Jesus-like! Thank you God for not being like us!


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About Jeanie Shaw

After retiring from forty-five years in full-time ministry, Jeanie Shaw went back to school to earn her master’s and doctorate in spiritual formation and discipleship. She also serves as a certified Christian life coach who loves helping people discover the joy, peace, and purpose that come from finding and following God’s plan for their lives. She has taught classes and workshops all over the world and has written numerous books. She has four grown children, eight grandchildren, and a golden retriever who thinks he is human. When she is not reading, writing, coaching, teaching, or enjoying her family she might be found walking along rivers, learning new lessons about life.

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