When I was in first grade, my teacher, Ms. D played a game that I found both very interesting but also quite humbling. On an unannounced day, she would instruct the students to face the back wall of the classroom. Ms. D would mandate that we refrain from looking at her during the game, and then she would ask us questions about her appearance (i.e. What color are my shoes? or What do my earrings look like?). I struggled to answer the questions the first few times I played. However, the game inspired me to develop my observation skills. I became noticeably more aware of people and surroundings as I entered school each day.
I no longer have Ms. D’s game to inspire my efforts to develop greater awareness and observation skills, but I have learned of a new motivator in the pursuit for a more keenly observant eye. A dear friend of mine recently shared that she had been praying for the various people she encounters during the day. She had prayed for the people bagging her groceries. She had prayed after spontaneously engaging in a brief conversation with a stranger in a coffee shop. She had prayed for all sorts of people and encouraged others to do likewise.
My friend’s stories inspired me to pray for the people I encounter. Though, in order to pray for these people, I must first acknowledge their presence. Much like I needed to mentally note Ms. D’s clothing choices in order to succeed in her game, I need to mentally take note of the various people I meet each day in order to pray for them. I’ve ditched my first grade motivation; now, my motivation to truly see the people who pass through my life stems from eagerness to pray.
Who will I pass today? I often stop for coffee on my way home from work. I pray that in the moment I will see the faces of those serving me my drink. I pray that I may acknowledge my fellow patrons in the coffee shop, and I pray that I will pray with God as my guide.