Be the one who sees.
Years ago I had to count every single penny I spent. I had to keep a tally in my head while shopping. I would stand there and add things up over and over and over. There was this time during the holidays when I was shopping at Trader Joe’s because way back then they had the most gluten free food and I had a toddler newly diagnosed with Celiac Disease, and I stood in the frozen aisle adding everything up.
I was over. And back then, when I was over, I couldn’t just check out. I didn’t want my card declined so the smallest edge over couldn’t happen. So I looked through everything trying to figure out what to put back. I kept everything everyone else would have loved – but put back the one thing I loved. It was a simple frozen package of chicken tamales. But that package was what put the total over.
I hated that feeling. Of not being able to afford that $3.29 package of tamales. But that was life and I moved on and forgot about it. It was what I did.
That night our doorbell rang.
It was odd because it was extremely cold and it rang at 8:30. I went to the door, opened it, and on my front steps were bags of food. Food from Costco and Trader Joes.
And on the top of the first bag I saw were those chicken tamales.
The same kind hours before I had put back.
So simple, yet such a profound life-changing moment.
I cannot describe the tears, the feeling of realizing that even in my aloneness I wasn’t alone. The feeling that I mattered. The feeling of gratitude.
It is seeing.
I still have no idea who put all of that food on my doorstep. My kids were so excited about all the goodies. I was humbled knowing that even the little things mattered. And whether or not you believe in God like I do, in that moment I knew I was not alone.
Chicken tamales mattered.
So ever since then, that moment, I’ve made it a point to be the one who sees. To be the one who doesn’t chalk things up to coincidence. To see the one struggling. To notice the mom counting groceries in the corner of the store. To smile. To see.
Be one who sees.
Be the one who sees the hurting and gives.
Be the one who sees beyond the shadows and loves.
Be the one who sees the lost and shows up.
Be the one who sees the bags of food for sale for others and buys them.
We need a world of seeing.
We really need a world of seeing in the holidays. It’s so easy to be so busy and to miss the power of seeing.
Change a life.
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