He handed me the phone so I could listen to the message, explaining that he thought at first the call was for me. It wasn’t. It was for him. And on the other end of that voicemail was a friend I’ve missed dearly this past year. No need to call back, she said. She just wanted to let my husband know that they had seen us walk into the church, and to thank him for showing up. How much it would mean to the family to know we were there, that their daughter’s teacher had come.
I still cry when I think about it.
Because in this crazy online world I’m immersed in, where the new comparison is comparing how little you compare yourself to others, and words like tribe and platform and reach are part of my everyday conversations and every move feels marketed, I was reminded what it really means to be noticed.
We tried not to be noticed, if I’m honest. Saying good-bye to a man who was a friend, a parenting mentor, who taught us what it meant to love and give and serve – it was hard – and we slid into seats in the balcony, quietly joining to sing “It Is Well” with the packed sanctuary below.
But they saw us – and she took time to tell us that we were seen, and we were appreciated.
It makes me wonder how much I really take time to see – to truly see what’s going on around me and who God has put in front of me. Who are the people today that I can reach out to and say “No need to call back – I just wanted to tell you how much it means that you showed up.”
- The ones who serve faithfully.
- The ones who encourage.
- The ones who speak truth and wisdom into our lives.
- The ones who offer playdates and drop off lunch and check in to see how that last doctor’s appointment went.
- The ones who make you laugh when your heart most needs a friend.
- The ones who cry with you.
- The ones who invite you in when it would be easier to make excuses.
I would rather be noticed for quietly honoring God than loudly promoting myself. Because at the end of it all, the lives that my words and my work touch? I want them, like the life of our dear friend, to leave a legacy that lasts.
This week, will you take time to notice someone, to really see what they do and the impact it has on your life? And will you tell them about it? Not to get anything in return, but simply to say “thank you.”