A couple of years ago, a friend gave me a book entitled, “The Noticer.” It was odd, intriguing, and a bit unsettling. Essentially, the main character had a knack for “noticing” people and their needs, fears, ambitions, and opportunities. He paid attention to little things like an emotional “Sherlock Holmes” of people’s hearts.
After I read it, I began to realize how busy I had allowed myself to become. In fact, you could say I was virtually proud of my busyness. To notice people, you have to be intentional. You have to look people in the eyes, watch their mannerisms, and listen–REALLY listen–to what they say (and what they don’t say).
I think Jesus was masterful at this. He didn’t just allow people to slip by unnoticed. He didn’t allow Zacchaeus the comfort of being unnoticed in the foliage of a tree. He didn’t allow Matthew to just go on collecting taxes without connecting with him. He didn’t allow the Samaritan woman the time and distance to slink in and slink away, overwhelmed with her shame. He didn’t allow a Centurion to drift out of sight after he demonstrated such great, simple faith.
Noticing people is part of loving them, blessing them. That’s what this recent series on the Ripple Effect has done for me. It’s made me more attentive to the stories people are living out before me. And as one who was noticed so many years ago, and then blessed by the one who did notice my aching heart, I am hungry to step into what I notice and pronounce blessing and hope, not because I’m a pastor, but because I am a heart that was healed when someone noticed me.
So. . .are you paying attention?