I love to watch people, anywhere and anytime. Train stations are great spots, especially from a coffee shop where people do not think anything of a person sitting idly watching the world go by. The stories that go by are endless. People of all shapes, cultures, fashion sense, free time, and priorities go by. Stereotypes easily come, pause, and go on by; but are they true? Unique personalities present themselves, almost asking for reflection and conversation.
During the past week I have seen a young mother combine contemporary hair color (bright purple), body piercing, motherhood, and organization into a smart package. The apparent contradictions were obvious. The subtle way that she brought all the skills and attributes of motherhood together for the benefits of her young daughter was a tribute to her dedication and love. I wonder what her story is.
Another older man stumbled through after too much drink. It was almost as if he was hiding from a tragedy. Several tried to help, especially one colleague who was young enough to be his son. The personal pain was obvious. My speculation on the pain that must exists throughout his family brought a quiet tear to my eye. I wish I could give him the hope of God’s gift. I wanted to reach out and let him know there were those who cared. In the end, I watched, speculated, and sat silently alone.
Solomon talked about his own observation. “As I stood at the window of my house looking out through the shutters, watching the mindless crowd stroll by, I spotted a young man without any sense arriving at the corner of the street where she lived, then turning up the path to her house.” (Proverbs 7.6,7,8) Solomon knew that this young man was at risk; I wonder if the scene was real or a reflection of his own experience.
I often find myself going by in another’s behavior. Today is a fresh opportunity to see myself as God looks at me, God’s friend who often gets lost. Will I take advantage of the observation?