Change Someone’s Day by Noticing

My friend’s day changed when someone noticed.

Angela, a young wife and mother of three, gave me permission to share her recent online post:

To the mama in the Target parking lot that saw me struggling to unload three kids and yelled across the parking lot, “You’re doing great, Mama,” thank you for seeing me. To the mama in Chick-Fil-A who helped me lug my crew out to my van, thank you for seeing me. To the mama in Kroger who offered to give me a hand grocery shopping with my kiddos, thank you for seeing me. To each of these mamas, thank you for seeing me and for challenging me to take the time to see others struggling the same ways I do every day. I see you.

After reading Angela’s post, I asked myself these questions:

  1. When I’m in a hurry, do I avert my eyes as if a struggling person didn’t exist?
  2. With a judgmental attitude, do I assume the person brought the situation on herself by making poor choices?
  3. Do I wish someone else would help instead of me?
  4. Am I sensitive to the Holy Spirit about when to offer help and when to pray? (Every need I observe is not God’s call for direct ministry.)
  5. Do I look for opportunities to obey the following verse?

Be kind to one another.

Ephesians 4:32

Jesus paid attention to individuals. I imagine Him establishing eye contact which conveyed kindness, unconditional love, and acceptance for those He met. Perhaps He stopped on dusty roads or turned around in the marketplace to honor the lonely with a kind smile. We know that He visited with a leper (Mark 1:40-45), the sick (Matthew 8:1-4), the lame (John 5:2-9), and a woman at the well who was ignored by others (John 4:4-26).   

In our effort to be more Christlike, let’s consider three ways Jesus paid attention to the needs of others and demonstrated kindness.

Meeting a Physical Need

In John 6 we read that Jesus realized the crowd of 5,000 grew hungry as they listened. With five loaves of bread and two fish, He fed the multitude. We could offer physical help by providing food, taking an ill person to medical appointments, or participating in a ministry project.  

Sharing Time with Others

Matthew 19 reveals the way Jesus took time to notice children and spend time with them. Time is valuable. Spending it wisely by ministering to other people demonstrates the way we value them. Being ignored provokes feelings of desperation, lack of self-worth, and loneliness. A kind word or smile can speak volumes. Complimenting a custodian on the shiny floors or a clerk for efficient service could make their day brighter.

Teaching Someone about Salvation in Christ

In Mark 2 we read that Jesus conversed with Levi, who was a despised tax collector in need of a relationship with God. As the Holy Spirit leads, we can share our story of following Christ and lead others to His saving grace. Establishing relationships with others can pave the way to fruitful conversation.

Of course, in potentially dangerous situations, the wise choice may be to pray for the person and perhaps seek help from a safe source. We need guidance from the Holy Spirit to know when to pray and when to act as we pray.

Let’s ask God to send opportunities this week to notice, to extend kindness, and to pray for others. This post will become more valuable as you share your thoughts or experiences. Won’t you post a comment?

Thank you, Angela Scully, for sharing your story.

21 thoughts on “Change Someone’s Day by Noticing

  1. Amen Ms. Jeannie. We MUST make ourselves available to be used by God each day. Like you, I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve helped someone stranded, or helped a young couple or single mama with groceries, etc. How much effort does it take to add someone’s buggy to yours and take both of them back to the cart corral on a 100-degree day? Since I was in the military, I’ve practiced Situational Awareness. By learning to tune into the urgings of the Holy Spirit in my life, I’m starting to develop Spiritual Awareness; something we could all improve upon. God’s blessings.

    • Post Author Jeannie Waters

      J.D., as always, I appreciate your wise words. I will pray for “Spiritual Awareness” as you described. Thank you for practical examples of loving as Jesus does. You’re right; some acts of kindness, require little from us and showers blessings on others.

  2. As always, Jeannie your posts on daily topics take us to deep living. “Jesus paid attention” says it all. Thank you for taking me to places and people where I must notice if I want others to notice Jesus in me.

    • Post Author Jeannie Waters

      Marilyn, you summarized the post so well. I love your statement: “I must notice if I want others to notice Jesus in me.”

  3. As usual, Jeannie, you are right on the mark. Thank you for reminding us, once again, to love others through acts of kindness. Love you, sweet cousin!

    • Post Author Jeannie Waters

      Thanks, Evelyn. I love and miss you. I’m glad we can at least connect online and share our love of the Lord.

  4. Now why didn’t I read this BEFORE I went out today? What wonderful encouragement!! I feel like jumping in my car and going out to notice people. I was focused on my errands and while I always try to smile at people, did I really notice them? Thanks for sharing Angela’s post. Powerful!

    • Post Author Jeannie Waters

      Jean, reading your comments made me want to go out and notice more, too. It’s easy to focus on our agenda, but much more fun to notice people, isn’t it? When I’m too task-oriented, I need reminders.

  5. Thank you Angela via Jeannie! I love the way the article describes three ways Jesus met Needs especially since Kindness has been on my heart a lot lately! I Pray for Opportunities every day. This reminds me of the song “let others see Jesus in you” And Jeannie you definitely pop up in my mind as a person that matches the song!

    • Post Author Jeannie Waters

      Barbara, thank you for kind comments. I remember that song and love it. Thanks for mentioning it and the way you pray for daily opportunities. You are like sunshine from the Lord to others.

  6. Jeannie, this is so true. Thank you for sharing.

  7. What a thought-provoking post. Yes, we need to slow down and if we say we wanna be like Jesus, then extend a hand and believe we still have the time to get everything we need to get done accomplished! Thanks for the post.

  8. Jeannie, I read Jean’s post first and then came in search of yours. For the most part, I’m a good noticer and I often try to help, but I know that sometimes I avoid getting involved. Not all of these instances are an issue of safety. Sometimes I’m just not feeling up to it, or I’m in a hurry, but you’ve convicted me that I can do SOMETHING! Even if I’m late for something and can’t offer physical help, I can pray at that moment. Thanks for an inspiring message.

    • Post Author Jeannie Waters

      Katherine, I’m glad you read both posts and that you commented. We all need reminders, don’t we?

  9. I do have a smile ministry. I try to look the people I pass in the aisle and smile.That really sounds silly but Ive noticed no one is smiling. Just thought Id give them a happy look just for them. Im also saying a little prayer for them in my heart.

    • Post Author Jeannie Waters

      Paula, you DO have a smile ministry and bless so many. It’s not silly at all–it’s a much-needed blessing in our world today. To smile and then pray is indeed a gift.

  10. Post Author Jeannie Waters

    Jean, thank you for adding value to my post by expanding it with wise words and examples. We’re all learning as we become more like Jesus.

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