Words of Hope: The Need to be Seen

My Dad noticed people that many do not—people mopping floors, or bussing tables, people who were often unseen or unrecognized. He treated everyone he met as a miracle with infinite value. I recently met a pastor from Colorado at a 9/11 memorial conference centered around unconditional forgiveness in NYC. This pastor leads a church called the Bridge near Columbine High School, and he was there as a representative of the trauma of that National tragedy— the first school shooting.  

After the conference, we all went to dinner together. As we were entering the restaurant, this pastor (a big guy with an energetic laugh) greeted a waiter walking by and said with lots of enthusiasm, “Hey man, what’s your name.” The waiter smiled wide and told his name. Then my new friend said, “Where are you from?” The man replied with jubilation and hand motions and even a mini dance, “Dominican!!” My friend replied, “RICO!!”  

As soon as he said it, I started to cry. That is exactly how my Dad engaged with others. He found a way to see them and speak to them in a way that brought mutual joy and delight. Each person has a deep need to be known. Dad believed each person is created with unparalleled love from God and is worthy of our compassion and respect. 

He loved these lines from Mary Oliver, “I think of each life as a flower, as common as a field daisy, and as singular, and each name a comfortable music in the mouth.”

I want to see people the way my Dad did and have the bravery to connect in ways that bring greater joy and connection.

“May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you.” – I Thessalonians 3:12

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