It’s Sabbath morning and I’m at the church early. I have a few things to finish for worship. While I’m making these preparations, I see him getting out of his car. As I walked by, he steps onto the sidewalk, his eyes following me as I walk away.
I don’t feel like I have time. I have these last things to do. But I turn around for a moment. And I walk back. Immediately he tells me a story. This one is about Mount Rushmore and getting there early in the morning. Taking his family from New York to Mount Rushmore and forgetting to set his watch for the new time zone, resulting in the fact that he and his family were there to watch the sunrise.
I knew there was a story.
How much of life is made up in these moments?
This very present moment, when I stop to hear the story.
Pausing to pay attention to the sacred present.
I am convinced that life is about stopping to hear the story.
These brief moments of connection and interaction are actually what make a life.
I see this in the life and ministry of Jesus.
Jesus “had to go through” a certain town to meet a person who needed connection.
Jesus was “just passing through” another village where another human being was lost and needed to be found.
Jesus pauses en route to a miracle in order to pay attention to the hurting human who touched him in a crowd.
Whether you were the Samaritan Woman (John 4), Zacchaeus (Luke 19), the woman in need of healing (Mark 5), or countless others, Jesus stopped to hear your story. Jesus truly saw you.
Jesus was alive to the present moment.
Sometimes the moments are so ordinary, unpleasant even.
Oil changes and phone calls, trouble-shooting and school pick-ups, dirty dishes and meetings. No matter what you’re doing, no matter what I’m doing, there’s typically the chance to stop and hear the story.
Jesus heard the story. And I want to, too.
Is there a recent time when you stopped to hear the story of someone around you?
O Jesus! Let me be alive to this present moment. Let me hear the story and pause to connect with the sons and daughters of God around me. In Thy name, amen.
PS I’d love to hear how this works for you – anything that happens in your encounters as you take time to listen to those around you. Drop me a line.