A World Partners staff member in Europe has been reading a book recently on being more observant and noticing people. She rides public transportation and many of the passengers riding along read books, look at their cell phone, or just stare into space and refuse to make eye contact. She states, “It makes being crammed in tight a little more bearable. Over time I’ve developed this habit as well. I decided it was time to try to start noticing people again.”
On this day, the staff person was carrying tissues because she happened to have a cold. She heard a strange noise and looked to see two teenagers walking together. One of the girls was on her cell phone and sobbing. The staff person noticed her and wondered what she should do next. Should she say something? No, the girl is on the phone, so that wouldn’t work. She then decided to pray for her. As she began to pray she noticed that the girl was wiping her runny nose on her sleeve. The staff person then remembered she had tissues, so she asked the girl if she needed them. The girl took them right away and thanked her. Mission accomplished.
Later that day, the staff person was crossing the street again and heard, “Excuse me Madame! Thank you so much! I needed those.” The staff person told her, “You’re welcome” and continued on her way.
The staff person doesn’t know what the issue was. She doesn’t even know if what she did made a difference although she would like to think it did. Making a difference wasn’t the reason she reached out to the girl. It was because she saw a need and met it.
Noticing a person’s need and acting on it is sometimes hard. It’s easier to ignore people and their problems, but we might actually start to make a difference in the world if we look up and started noticing people. Who will you notice today?