Monday, July 2, 2012

Power to the People

On Friday night a massive storm ripped through the Washington, DC metro area.  It was terrifying.

Sam and I took a jaunt to Pinkberry for frozen yogurt (HOW is it so delicious?) around 10 and then stopped by Whole Foods for a few breakfast items.  As we closed the car doors the storm began raging.   Wind gusts were 50-80 mph.  Five minutes later all the traffic signals and street lamps were dead.  It was raining cats and dogs elephants and T-rexes.  I could hardly see.  At one point we had to turn around because a ginormous tree had fallen across four lanes of traffic.  We thought about pulling over, but what if a tree fell on our car?  Is it safer to drive home or try and find an open area to park?  There were two people in the car and two different answers to that question.  Happily we arrived home in one piece.

We were without power for a few days which was actually not such a big deal.  My dwelling stayed relatively cool and Sam and I played cards and board games.  We were almost 48 hours without reliable electronics (cell phones/email were spotty), but somehow--just somehow--we made it:). 

I found myself enjoying the seemingly slow pace of life those days.  I didn't feel the need to check email every hour and phone calls weren't going through.  Maybe that's why the day felt so long, but long in a good way.  I didn't feel rushed.  There was time for most everything we wanted to accomplish.

I'm reading two books about listening.  Both challenge me to be a better noticer.  Noticer isn't even a word but that's what I'm trying to be.  And it's difficult to be a noticer because our entire lives are wrapped in noise.  Every moment is filled with some sort of communication or tweet or sound or opinion.  I like communication, tweets, sound and most some opinions, but there can be too much of a good thing.

In the last week I met two new friends but it is only because they noticed me.  One was at the mall in line for the bathroom and the other on a nighttime walk.  On both occasions I was checking email as I walked.  Come on, Katie.  Get a grip.  You can wait 10 additional minutes before checking email.  If it's an emergency someone will call you.

I saw both ladies, but they noticed me.  At the mall it was a teenage girl.  Her eyes were tear-stained and she was mortified.  Bless her heart.  She was struggling with an issue all teenage girls struggle with and I was able to help.  It ended as a funny exchange and I can tell you in person if you want to know.  Bless her heart.  But I would have missed this opportunity for friendship and ministry if she wouldn't have noticed me.  I was too busy checking emails that absolutely can wait.

The other new friend I met on a walk.  She caught my eye.  I stopped to exchange pleasantries when she struck up a conversation.  In a matter of moments we discussed divorce, sabbatical and everything else between.  I would have missed this opportunity for friendship and ministry if she wouldn't have noticed me.  I was too busy checking emails that absolutely can wait.

I am happy to have power once again, but hope I can remember some of life's sweetest moments require eyes to see them.  If my head and eyes are buried in electronics or other silly things, I'll miss God's grace all around.


  1. Curious, what were the books that you read about listening?

    I'm working on that trait myself :)

  2. Hello Karaya En VA!
    The best book I'm currently reading is a novel, Jayber Crow by Wendell Berry. It's not explicitly about listening, but the character Jayber is a great noticer of people.

  3. :) I see. I'm reading or considering meditation, to help my focusing of the present moment. To much in our lives tends to disconnect us from the actual human connection.

    Thanks, for the book recommendation.

  4. Noticer--what a great word to add to our dictionaries! Thank you for challenging me to notice opportunities for friendship and ministry.