Sunday, January 28, 2018
Open My Eyes That I May See
I got out of my car with arms full of Christmas cards to mail and a package to send. I like the small post office in Nora, a small community within Indianapolis. The people are friendly and helpful and I was driving in an area where the post office is located.
As I spread out all of my cards and arranged the contents of the package on a table near the "you-do-it" section in the lobby, an elderly woman came along beside me.
Quickly clearing a space for her, I said, "I don't need to take up all of this room. I tend to spread out so I can organize my mailings."
She smiled, "I need to fill out this paper to hold my mail while I am gone. I don't see well. Can you help me?"
"Sure!" I set aside my cards and held the corners of her form to steady her writing. I checked what she had already written, but she was confused about the dates of her departure and arrival home.
Completing the Form
She was certain about when she was leaving so we entered that information. Then we counted forward until she reached the time when she was coming home. I looked over the other questions and told her she was ready to turn in the request. The form complete, she reached into her purse offering to pay me for helping her.
"Oh, no. Helping another is part of life in God's kingdom."
"I am eighty-one years old and I am thankful to be here," she replied. "I used to be an elementary school principal and do things with ease."
"I'm glad you're here too!" I said. "Have a nice time away. I watched her walk slowly through the lobby.
Dropping my cards and package in the appropriate bins, I reflected how my vision and her lack of vision came together. Interestingly, outside the post office sat a blind man, a fixture at the corner of the building selling brooms. Today was cold and windy and he was wearing a heavy coat and hat. Two women were talking to him and I watched as he laughed and smiled.
Open My Eyes
My experience at the post office with the woman who had trouble seeing reminded me of the opening stanzas of an old hymn, "Open My Eyes, That I May See."
The first three stanzas of the hymn begin with these words:
"Open my eyes, that I may see;"
"Open my ears, that I may hear;"
"Open my mouth, and let me bear,"
That day I was able to blend all three verses as I helped the retired principal complete her form.
How Are Your Eyes, Ears and Mouth?
I wonder how many times I miss opportunities to be in service to others because my eyes don't see or my ears don't listen carefully or my mouth remains silent or says something inappropriate. God help me be aware of those I cross paths with so that I can be aware of and present to those who may need help.
Have you been in a hurry lately and not given attention to those around you? We all have busy days with lots to do. Let your eyes be opened to see, your ears be opened to listen and your mouth be opened to speak as you move through God's kingdom and interact with God's people.
Sometimes you are at the right place at the right time - when your vision is clear and your heart is open to respond.
For Your Reflection
1. When have you paused to talk or help someone in need as you were on your way to do something else?
2. How did you feel after you completed your service?
3. What practices help you become more attentive to others?
Prayer: God, our days are busy, but our hearts truly want to extend love to those who may need attention. Keep us alert and aware of others wherever we go. Amen.