I Couldn't Help But Notice

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I Couldn't Help But Notice

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I don’t remember what you wore last weekend. Was it knee-length? Longer? Shorter? I’m not sure. It might have had short sleeves, or spaghetti straps. I honestly can’t recall.

I don’t know whether you loaded your potluck plate with brownies and meatballs or just ate salad (I was busy juggling a toddler and a plate containing salsa).

It’s possible you’ve lost weight. You might have gained weight. In fact, come to think of it, I couldn’t reliably guess what you weigh (I’d make a lousy courtroom witness).

Here’s the thing. I didn’t have time to notice all those things.

See, I was busy noticing that you arrived for Sabbath services in plenty of time to fellowship beforehand—not rushing in at the last minute with your coffee in hand, scouring the room for a seat before the hymns began.

I noticed that you sang the hymns with gusto, as though it were you and God alone instead of a congregation.

I noticed how engaged you were by the sermon. You were “listening with your eyes,” and nodding thoughtfully. Your notebook was full of notes and scriptural references, and I couldn’t help peeking at your Bible, with its underlines and notes to yourself in the margin.

Oh, and you might have been the girl I saw holding someone’s toddler during the service while her husband served on the sound crew. What a blessing for that mother to have an extra pair of hands!

But then, after services I was watching how you waited to go through the potluck line until almost everyone else in church had gone through. Or maybe I was distracted by your hurrying to refill the napkin dispenser instead of waiting for someone else to do it. I was busy admiring that you knew your way around the kitchen…you obviously have spent some time working in there.

Of course, I didn’t miss that you mingled with everyone…you spent time with friends in your age group, but I also noticed you in conversation with everyone, from the kindergartener who told you about his trains to the oldest member of our congregation. I have to confess that I eavesdropped just a little, and I heard you talking about the sermon, and mentioning how it really fit well with what you’d been reading that week and this other message you had heard online by a different pastor.

I’m sorry I didn’t notice your dress. I’ll confess: I was too busy watching who you are. And to tell the truth, I was also making the mental note that I could improve in a few of the areas where you already excel. I have no idea what you wore or how you styled your hair, because the only thing that stood out was your character. And it is beautiful.

For more advice on living right, request the free study guide, “Making Life Work.”

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