“What color eyes does Jesus have?”
Curiosities and wide-eyed wonderment always make a grand entrance at the dinner table. Tossed in between reminders to get homework done, recollections of the day and reviewing schedules for the week, my daughters voice intrigue with the Savior we can’t see.
As I pass the mashed potatoes and serve up the green beans, I don’t give it a second thought. I appease them for a moment and simply respond, “We’ll find out when we get to heaven, honey.” I steady back on the mental path of to-do lists and determining how much time we have to eat before heading out for the evening’s activities.
Motherhood can be busy. No, motherhood is busy. We run to the point of exhaustion checking off another item on the list, answering emails or facebook updates, running from one activity to the next, and just doing it all, which leaves a slither of room to entertain silly questions of our little ones. In this hurried state, I wonder if I really see my girls or am I just looking past them down the road of where we need to be next.
Days later we head to the ice-cream shop on the way home from school. This busy afternoon is no different than the rest, but carving out minutes puts smiles on my girls’ faces.
Walking back to the car, my daughter asks, “Mom, didn’t you see?” When I don’t respond, she continues. “The sign. It said she lost her job. She was sitting down with her kids.” I desperately wanted to drive away but I take a deep breath, exhale and wait for silence to be broken.
“Mom,” her voice quietly breaks through, “You walked right past her.”
I scurry by as if my life was one big rush hour, bulldozing my way through for efficiency sake; keeping on schedule while curious questions get pushed aside and the needs of mothers around me go unnoticed. My daughter reached in her wallet and ran to the woman, giving the few dollars she had. I whispered the prayer, Lord slow down my days. I want to see you. I want to see my daughters. I want to see those in need.
I remembered that day a few months later when I met Christopher and Susan. I had gone into the grocery store to buy lunch, but walked out with an extra one in hand. After driving a few blocks, I pulled up to the back of another grocery store and saw them together, huddled on the ground, out of sight from passersby.
I knelt down beside them and simply said, “I see you.” Handing off the lunch, I put my arm on Christopher’s shoulder and grabbed Susan’s leathered hand as we petitioned Jehovah Jireh, the God who provides and El Roi, the God who sees. Our gaze was fixed and immovable after I listened to their story and prepared to leave.
“Don’t forget us,” Christopher pleaded with tears ready to spill over onto his worn, sunburned cheeks. I looked deep into eyes as crystal clear as the tropical ocean and promised to remember.
Distractions abound, but let us not get so busy running from place to place that we walk right past opportunities to entertain curious wonders of our daughters or meet a neighbor’s need. Later I tell my girls if what Jesus said is true – “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me,” – then His eyes are definitely blue, just like Christopher’s – as blue as the sky on a summer afternoon. We laugh until dinner gets cold and run a little late to practice. But that’s okay. I see them. I listen to them. And I thank them for helping me to see.