“For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish:”
2 Corinthians 2:15 KJV
People watching must be a generational thing. Gift or curse?
It can go either way.
My granddaughter loves to sit on the front steps, at the foot of the walking trail, on every bench on the sidewalk of every busy street or tiny town square.
Cars, people, birds, puppies or any thing that captures her curious attention.
My grandmother was the same.
Plus, she’d strike up a conversation with any stranger she’d catch in a pause. They’d be trapped into listening. She might talk about us, or she might talk about her two daughters or she might just go on and on about embroidery or fabric or her support pantyhose the doctor prescribed.
Yesterday, I complained to others and myself about a woman who invited herself to my lunch table. She reeled me in talking about painting. My voice joined in. We compared our stories about creativity.
But, then she kept on.
And on and my information overload anxiety coupled with my not so sweet fatigue of “too much peopling” likely began to show on my face.
Soon, their lunch was done and her husband introduced himself to a lone diner, an older gentleman in plaid shirt and old black glasses, shoes worn down from shuffling.
He was thrilled when the woman began talking. There was no disdain over too much peopling as they lingered at the bar.
Later, my daughter and I shared similar but separate stories. Two women in two different grocery stores we concluded were wealthy because of their attire and because of the cash in hand. But, both wore signs of something wrong in their expression, something that said wealth or whatever couldn’t fix it.
I remembered the lunch counter talker, the way she’d comforted her husband as she shared just enough information for me to know that he’s a cancer patient. I remembered her caress of his bandaged and blood dried arm. I thought of her whispering something as she looked closely at the bend near his elbow.
The grocery store women, the waitress with the earrings in her cheeks for dimples, the woman who talked too much in the restaurant.
All made in the image of God.
Sheep like me in need of the shepherd.
In need of someone to talk to ‘cause we’re lonely, in need of grace as provision when what we own isn’t enough, in need of acceptance when we long to be accepted.
Myself, in need of a sweet repentance when my conclusions about others are tainted by anything other than love.
A love that loves to notice, invites conversation and a love that is patient and tolerant, curious authentically even
When “peopling” feels too much.
Lord, help my noticing of others always have the aroma of love.
And help me continue this “generational love of peopling ” that my Grandma started.
We miss you down here, Doris Evelyn Peacock.