Open Our Eyes

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(This is an excerpt from the book Standing Up in a Sit-Down World.)

I think we sometimes don’t realize the power of that small step—the power of just looking around us and noticing others. In that moment when we see, we see our sister or our brother; we don’t see “that person who is different.” We see our family. And it is in that moment that the Lord can prompt us and tell us how we can help.

Kathy Headlee Miner tells of an experience she had many years ago when her children were young. She had taken her family to a fast-food restaurant for lunch and was trying to ride herd on all of them. She realized that her little daughter, whom she was holding, was smiling and waving at the man behind her, who was obviously a homeless man. Kathy stopped her daughter from waving and settled the family at a table. But her little one continued to smile and laugh and wave at the man as he sat at his table. He shyly waved back. This continued for some time even though Kathy was a bit apprehensive about the attention.

When the man had finished his meal, he hesitantly approached Kathy. “I just want to thank you,” he said. “Your little daughter has brought me such joy. No one looks at me or smiles at me. So I really appreciate your little one being so friendly.”

Kathy was surprised and somewhat chastened. She had been averting her gaze while her innocent little one saw a person to love. A powerful lesson.

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