The Norfolk and Norwich Christian community website


coffee shop 750pb

Noticing people the way Jesus does

Ruth Lilley encourages us to notice the other people around us, and seize opportunities to interact with them.

I like a coffee! An extra hot, skinny, decaf latte! However, some might say that isn’t a proper coffee! When I have the opportunity to visit one of the many coffee shops we have around and about, I am usually very blessed to have someone lovely to keep me company. Although, if I am alone or if I am waiting for my company to arrive, I find it fascinating to watch people. Actually, to be honest, I find it fascinating to watch people whether or not I am with someone! I just hope I don't stare too much!
As I look around, I see people and I wonder what their story is. We are all gathered in the same place, yet I imagine we all come from such different walks of life. Yet, for that one moment, our paths have crossed.
There may be some sort of interaction - a smile, small talk - some kind of shared moment. Then again, I may not even notice. I might be so absorbed into the conversation I am having with the person I came with, that I am simply not aware. Or maybe, it is for me to notice the person who I am with. To be aware of their story.
I believe that, as we walk through each day, there are many such opportunities where our paths cross with others. Maybe these are intentional and planned or maybe they are unintentional and not part of the plan.
So, how will I use these opportunities? Will I put my head down and pretend I've not seen? Will I make the conversation all about me? Will I even notice?
Jesus noticed.
He noticed the bleeding woman who had been suffering and isolated for years. Jesus noticed her faith and her courage. Jesus noticed blind Bartimaeus, when others were telling him to be quiet. Jesus noticed Zacchaeus and saw beyond his greedy actions.
Jesus went out of His way to notice the faith and audacity of these people. He looked beyond the barriers and judgements; it was Jesus’ desire to make a better difference to the story of these people as He responded with love and healing power.
I’m discovering that it is much better when I notice. When I choose to look beyond, rather than make the quick judgements, of which I am sometimes guilty. To believe, that I am here for ‘such a time as this’ (Esther 4:14 NIV).
So, as I walk through each day, and cross paths with others, I hope to live by faith, knowing that my Heavenly Father has planned my days (Psalm 139:16). I would like to be bold and seek out those opportunities.
I choose to notice.

Image by Eak K. from Pixabay



ruth starkings 150CFRuth Lilley is the family worker at Meadow Way Chapel in Hellesdon. She also enjoys writing, and writes a regular blog called ‘With Every Sun Comes A New Day.’

The views carried here are those of the author, not of Network Norwich and Norfolk, and are intended to stimulate constructive debate between website users. 

We welcome your thoughts and comments, posted below, upon the ideas expressed here. 

Click here to read our forum and comment posting guidelines

To submit a story or to publicise an event please email: web@networknorwich.co.uk