Another of Lisa-Jo's weekly invitations to stop and drop - 5 minutes of unedited writing on a theme. This week the one-word prompt? BEYOND. Who knows what will come out?? FIVE minutes - that's all I've got. Why don't you try it, too?
Can you see beyond what's in front of your face? I'm thinking specifically about people you meet, converse with, interact with on a daily basis. People who irritate you, who push your buttons, who exasperate and frustrate you?
One of the most important life lessons to hang onto is this one: everyone has a story. Everyone has some pain they're dealing with somewhere. Everyone is more than what you see.
One of the advantages of living a long time is learning this truth - over and over again. There is always something 'beyond.' Beyond the crankiness, beyond the odd behavior, even beyond the surface tranquility. There are stories bubbling beneath the surface, stories of joy and sorrow, life and death. And part of our role as followers of Jesus is remaining open to all the possibilities of that truth.
Women sit in my office and slowly unpeel themselves - telling me, in ways they don't even realize, of their invisibility, their need to be heard and seen, most especially by the people they love the most - their husbands and children. This is a growing concern of mine as I sit and listen, as I ask the Holy Spirit for guidance and wisdom and words. There is pain there for so many, so many.
Do you truly see the people that are right in front of you? Do you see beyond what they present? Do you see the truth that they are real, flesh and blood individuals with unique gifts and unique faults, with a very particular voice and a much-needed individual presence in this world?
More and more, this is my prayer:
Lord, help me to see the whole person - show me what YOU see. Help me to see beyond the surface.