Take time for a closer look

By Gerry Lewis | Published Saturday, May 26, 2018

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“Hey, look at me!” “Watch this!”

If you’ve ever been a kid, you probably said it. If you’ve been a parent or grandparent, I guarantee you’ve heard it.

But what’s the message behind the words? Yes, there is one. It’s the message I want to remind us of in this fourth part of this series about making sense out of life.

This week’s focus: Don’t just look; really see.

The kid who stands on top of the big slide or the diving board and says, “Hey, Dad, watch this!” and the grown up kid who looks into the television sideline camera and says, “Hi, Mom!” are really saying the same thing. They are saying, “Don’t just glance my way. Notice me. Acknowledge me. Value me. Your approval matters to me.”

I was trying out a new iPhone app with my son-in-law a few weeks ago. It’s a video walkie-talkie called Marco Polo. You record short video messages back and forth, taking turns like a walkie-talkie. He let my 3 1/2 year-old granddaughter in on the conversation, but she got a little frustrated because she’s accustomed to Skype conversations where she sees me while she talks to me. One of her messages began with her looking at him instead of the camera and saying, “Grandpa can’t see me.”

How important is it to really be seen by those who matter to us? It is huge! I want to be sure that I’m delivering more than just a passing glance to those who matter to me.

I also want to be sure that I see God in his creation.

Mrs. Sweetie and I are spending this week in an incredibly beautiful location. It’s one of those places where you take a lot of photos and when you look at them you realize that you can’t begin to capture the beauty in a photo. You have to be there to see it for yourself.

When I first began making plans to come here, I started looking at everything that would be within driving distance, so we could take in as much as possible in four days. Then I remembered the purpose of my sabbatical.

So now, we are going to look at less, but see more deeply. We will partner our sense of sight with our other senses and take time to hear, smell, touch, and taste the beauty of this locale.

Sure, we’ll use the camera on our phones to take some photos that we will eventually share. But the best pictures will be those etched in our memories of the moments we spent with each other and with God taking in his awesome creativity.

I don’t want to be just a looker. I want to be a noticer. I want to see beyond the surface. I want renewed vision of life as God intends for it to be lived.

Life matters, my friends. How will you take time this week to be a noticer?

Dr. Gerry Lewis, author, blogger, church consultant and leadership coach, serves as executive director of the Harvest Baptist Association in Decatur.

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