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:
- When I’m in a hurry, do I avert my eyes as if a struggling person didn’t exist?
- With a judgmental attitude, do I assume the person brought the situation on herself by making poor choices?
- Do I wish someone else would help instead of me?
- 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.)
- 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.