Friday, 21 November 2014

What do You Notice?

Thanks Jo Swan for photo

What We Notice and What We See

When I first saw her there, hanging hesitantly in the doorway, fearful to come in, I noticed her unkempt hair, her underweight figure, her ill-fitting clothes, her look of shame, her inclination to leave.  I noticed her son, about three, with a dummy (pacifier) in his mouth.   She asked for the co-ordinator, and I told her she's away sick at the moment, but please stay.    She wasn't sure.   Others noticed her too.  What did they notice about her?   I tried to talk to her - she was happy to be left alone, to remain un-noticed by others, content just to be alone with her son.    But then, she came and had a cuppa, hanging on the fringes of the conversation of others who were comfortable with each other.      Her name was Sally, and she hadn't been before.     I noticed just before leaving time that her son wanted to keep one of the toys, to take it home with him, but he wasn't allowed to.   He screamed and hit and cried and yelled - they left very quickly, hoping to leave un-noticed.  

A few years ago I would have silently judged her, and prided myself on not having such a difficult child, for not looking 'like that' - not now.  I've been on the receiving end of being un-noticed when I wanted to be noticed, and being noticed by others for things that are really not important.   Just a few short hours later, my almost-two-year-old did much the same thing when she didn't get her own way in the supermarket and everyone noticed.   

What do we notice about others, the first time we see them?   What's important to us, that we pick up on it straight away in a person, a house, a situation, a church?   What we value is what we notice.   I always notice when things are poorly spelled, poorly punctuated, poorly written and I try not to judge or comment.   My hubby notices when the lawn is dry or the house untidy, and he tries not to judge or comment.   One daughter notices when something is not working and she's learning to fix it without judging those of us who can't.   

Can we notice something without judging, without it being a big issue for us?   Can we look beyond what we notice and see the person, the issue, the importance behind what jumps out at us,what WE value?  I wonder what Jesus noticed, and I wonder what He saw?    


  1. Hey! I'm your FMF friend for today! Thanks for sharing! So true that we only notice the outside sometimes...trying hard to stop doing this and get a bigger picture! We all crave acceptance and we all should be showing grace!

  2. Thanks, Les, for your encouragement. So want to get the bigger picture, His picture.

  3. What a convicting post! I grew up in a home that was full of love…and judgment. It has taken a lot of time and a lot of Jesus-kind of correction for me to not automatically go down the judgment road. I'm your #FMFparty neighbor.

  4. I think that the closer I get to Jesus, the more I can relate to people more positively than I may have in the past. I can't do this on my own though, it is not possible without His help every day. Thank you for the heartfelt post. Your #FMF party friend. :)