How many times do you walk through a store, a mall, a hospital etc and see someone with a name tag? Do you notice them? Do they see you?
Recently, I was at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester. I drove my parents down for my dad’s test. While he was in the procedure room, my mom and I explored. Mayo is well known across the United States for being one of the best hospitals. The campus is huge… so many buildings, elevators, tunnels and walk ways – it would be easy to get lost. We wandered the “subway” level and looked at some shops. We had gone quite a distance, when we got to a corridor that seemed less busy and active. A lady with a name tag stopped. “Do you need help finding anything?” She was so polite and helpful. While we didn’t need help, she did tell us about a great place to eat and where to go for a good bowl of soup. She saw us. She stopped and talked and listened.
After my dad’s procedure, the doctor came in to visit. He shook our hands and sat down. He explained what they had done, what the next steps would be, and even drew a picture. He made sure our questions were answered and took the time to listen. The nurse joked about the Dr… he gets them behind schedule because he talks so much. But you know what? Yep, he saw us. He saw my dad as a person and not just a procedure. Many times while we were there, we saw people being helped, guided or asked if they needed directions. Random people in the elevator told us to have a great day.
Sometimes we like to stay hidden. I sure do. Many times I like to blend in and not draw attention to myself. I tried to sneak out of church on Wednesday night, but the pastor’s wife saw me and wanted to make sure I knew they’d be praying for our son and his stress test. Even though being seen sometimes makes me uncomfortable, it also makes me feel like someone cares. To be seen is ok. It can be scary sometimes, but it’s ok. Or maybe you’re the person who sees someone else. Maybe you notice the lonely person or the person who seems lost, or the person who needs some prayers.
God sees us, but sometimes it’s hard to realize. I think we need to be his eyes to see others, to help them and to reach out. That might mean we come out of our comfort zone or spend a few extra minutes listening. When we see others, we are doing God’s work. We let someone know they are valuable, important, and worth our time. We get so busy rushing and doing and trying to get to the next thing, we might not see. It can be with our own family – did we stop and listen? Did we really see what our kids or our spouse was trying to show us?
Our journeys aren’t meant to be traveled alone. We need connections and conversations. We need to be seen. Peace be with you on your journey of enough. May you see and be seen. It may just make someone’s day.