“Strays in a tray; some thrown away. Rounded down. Unheeded; unneeded.” *
If you knew that you were the inspiration for something I wrote, would you be flattered – or flustered? Would you be interested to know how I depicted you and why? Or would you want to get the heck out of here NOW?
Like most writers, personal experience is my starting point. I write about things I see, feel or experience, events that have influenced me, ideas I hope will shape my future.
I saw a man in the station yesterday.
He took his hand out
of his pocket and a coin
bounced to the tile.
When he saw that it was a penny,
he dismissed it and hurried on.
It was still rolling.
I saw a beggar on the bridge today.
His tattered sign announced,
“I’m alone and broke”. People
parted and streamed past
him, like runoff around
a fallen branch.
He had copper skin. *
I’m endlessly intrigued by the people around me. I take a lot of cues from them: the blind man on the corner tapping his cane in the snow; the young man emerging from the urban church kicking a bedraggled pigeon; the scowling, swearing cab driver.
I never want to forget that each of their stories matters on a much larger scale than I will ever know and it isn’t up to me to assign a value to their experience.
If your life has intersected with mine in some way, I may have even written about you. It could have been your statement pin, your sleeve tattoo or something seemingly innocuous you said; maybe you were obviously sad or unconvincingly stoic. I might have been surprised by your smirk or touched by your generosity.
There’s a good chance I may have felt prompted to pray for you in that moment. That happens a lot.
But don’t worry. If I wrote about you, I wouldn’t have used your real name – if I even knew it, that is. I probably would have changed some descriptors, too, to blur it up a bit. (I get the whole privacy thing.)
The point is you are seen. Not just by me; no, maybe not by me at all. You may think you’re just another pedestrian hurrying down the sidewalk or an anonymous shopper at the mall. But your life and your actions, the way you react to things, it all matters. Despite what you may think, you are not invisible. Not by a long shot.
The truth is none of us drifts through life unnoticed, even though it may seem that way sometimes. There are no throw away people. Even the bedraggled birds are beheld by God (Matthew 10:29).
- On days you’ve felt you were completely alone, someone may have been nudged to pray for you.
- On days you’ve thought your life was small, another may have learned something significant just by being near you.
- On days you’ve doubted your ability to inspire, a poem may have been written about you.
And every day, you have been loved with an immeasurable love by the One who created you.
(* From ”The Plight of the Penny”, copyright 4/12/10 Diane Rivers)
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- I learned a new word - November 30, 2016
- The best question I’m asking myself these days - July 18, 2016
- A tragic story with a tender twist - May 17, 2016
- Gosh, people are a mess - May 12, 2016
- I’ll take the red carnation, thank you – revisiting an odd tradition - May 2, 2016
- The surprising thing about “weakness” - April 20, 2016
- The holiness of a four-way stop - April 13, 2016