Do you remember when you were a child and were told to stop, look and listen -especially before crossing the street? Those words have been echoing in my head quite a bit of late. Though, for me, it is not about crossing the street, but rather how I can find radiance in others.
In this crazy, busy world, even when we have a few minutes to ourselves, what do we do? It seems like the answer is we pick up our phone, check Facebook, tweet or perhaps play a quick game. When do we see people, actually be present to them?
A friend of mine just got back from an amazing trip; an African Safari. We got together a few nights ago just as she returned home, so I could hear about her trip. It was that night, as the conversation unfolded, that the words stop, look and listen started penetrating my consciousness.
As I went to meet with her, I knew I wanted to be completely present to her. This was about her: her trip, her experiences, her stories from the past three weeks. I stopped and focused on her, I listened, I looked at her and at her pictures, and I saw such incredible radiance. There were tears in her eyes as she described the mother elephant protecting the little baby elephant. She literally trembled as she described the vastness of the country, the beauty of the Serengeti. She laughed at the giraffes running across the airport runway. As she relived her experiences, I was living them right along with her, because of her radiance.
That evening was about stopping – and being present to her. It was about looking, not just at pictures but in how she told the story, how every part of her was physically engaged in trying to share the experience. It was about listening, not just to the activities, but to the experiences that touched her heart.
As I stopped, looked and listened to her, I saw her spectacular radiance. I realized that I needed to be fully present to her to truly experience her radiance. Who will I stop, look and listen to today? Who will you stop, look and listed to today? I promise, as we both do this, we will see God’s love in the radiant faces of others.