Sometimes as we move through our routines, our tasks, and our days, we miss so much of what is before us, because we are focused on what is beyond us. How many moments have we missed, because we were not seeing? Our mental to do lists can loom long, and our preoccupation with a project can keep us from seeing both the gifts in the moment and those who need to be seen. As we move through a grocery store staring at our list of items to be purchased, we may miss the person needing a smile or a sense of warmth or connection. When we are preoccupied with making dinner, we may miss our son or daughter who just want to be heard.
When I look back, I can recognize so many missed moments. I was forever running through my list and what was next that I missed what was before me. Over time, I have been learning to slow down, to notice more, and to let go of what doesn’t matter so much. When I do this I discover treasure. It is the treasure of a meaningful conversation with someone I love. It is the depth of beauty in God’s creation. It is the light in someone’s eyes, when I genuinely smile at them. It is the gift in really hearing another. When I am attuned to the moment, I find each moment richer than I ever knew possible. It is like snorkeling and discovering wonders all around us when we intentionally pause to notice them. I have discovered joy and contentment are found in the present moment as I see.
I am also learning that when I let go of my biases and my assumptions, that I see the person before me not so much in a category, but as they are, a complex person created by God to be who they are. And thus I pray Lord, help me to really see. Help me to see beneath and beyond categories and my biases to the depth and uniqueness of the person before me. I believe God has created each one of us as a work of art, and so I pray Lord, help me to see as you do and to notice what you want me to.
What does it mean to really see? It seems it is both noticing and letting go, in order to see more deeply and fully the gifts found in the moment. I am trying to reside there. It is a richer place.