It happens every time I travel to an unfamiliar place. Sitting in a van or a car or a bus, I find myself staring out the window – scouring the scenery to find the faces.
Faces caught in the blur of motion as I pass by remote towns or villages, in dirt and decay, along quiet winding roads, or in cities filled with crowds and noise. Faces after faces after faces I may never see again. But when I’m looking out the window, that really doesn’t matter much. What does matter is the little prayer whispered.
“Lord, let me just catch their eye.” If only for a second. Let me share a moment – a smile, a wave, a nod that says “today, your presence is felt.”
I’ve come to realize that most people don’t necessarily want to be famous. Few really want to be in the limelight. Most are content with being a simple nobody rather than being a fancy somebody. But no one wants to be anonymous.
The infant crying out for touch. The feeble soul abandoned and alone. Or the 20-year old who wonders if anyone will notice she’s gone as she takes the bottle of pills (pills that, by the grace of God, didn’t work).
We all want to know we matter to someone – that our presence is felt. That our time here counts for more than just taking up space.
Maybe that’s why the Lord created smiles and waves and nods in the first place – simple gifts to let people know they matter. Maybe when we share them, He is really saying, “You are not anonymous. Your presence is felt to Me.”
Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing. ~Mother Teresa