Being ignored is a terrible, to anyone at anytime for any reason. Having said that, ignorance is more than an occurrence, it is a way of living for many, myself included. I have come to appreciate the value of a friend’s tug, drawing my attention to someone and something that is heart important, even if I am not treating it that way.
I was called to attention by a casual comment in an email. “It is good to see…” I know there were reasons for the absence of action. Along the way, I think I had misplaced something integral to living. Looking inside, our lives are not defined by what we do not do or accomplish. The story of our lives is told in the way we live – the actions we take, the mountains we climb, and on occasion the things we accomplish. The heart of the story is in the decisions and choices taken in the casual moments of any day and how these often unseen and unnoticed actions reflect the hearts and the aspirations and dreams that live within.
Looking outside of myself, the casual comment reminded me the many of life’s priceless gifts are found through the simple act of seeing the people and their lives in the moment at hand. In the absence of paying attention, for many it feels as if “we’re nothing but a joke to our neighbors, graffiti scrawled on the city walls.” (Psalm 79.4) When we pay attention, we embrace the opportunity to discover the wonder, beauty, and awe resident and hiding in each human heart. There are stories to be told and heard. There are tears and laughter for sharing. Everything is possible in this moment.
Some of the great lessons of the past six months involve the gifts of listening, being present, and receiving what others share without reservation or demand. As I look back, I see the lessons as an invitation to live seriously, embracing priceless gifts that I often willfully ignore. I am thankful. I also realize there are many lessons still to come.