Trying Not to Miss a Thing

We are here to witness the creation and abet it. We are here to notice each thing so each thing gets noticed. Together we notice not only each mountain shadow and each stone on the beach but, especially, we notice the beautiful faces and complex natures of each other. We are here to bring to consciousness the beauty and power that are around us and to praise the people who are here with us. We witness our generation and our times. We watch the weather. Otherwise, creation would be playing to an empty house.….A shepherd on a hilltop who looks at a mess of stars and thinks, ‘There’s a hunter, a plow, a fish,’ is making mental connections that have as much real force in the universe as the very fires in those stars themselves.
~Annie Dillard from Life Magazine’s “The Meaning of Life”

I can feel overwhelmed by the amount of “noticing” I need to do in the course of my work every day.  Each patient deserves my full attention for the few minutes we are together.  I start my clinical evaluation the minute I walk in the exam room and begin taking in all the complex verbal and non-verbal clues sometimes offered by another human being.   What someone tells me about what they are feeling may not always match what I notice:  the trembling hands, the pale skin color, the deep sigh, the scars of self injury.  I am their audience and a witness to their struggle; even more, I must understand it in order to best assist them.  My brain must rise to the occasion of taking in another person and offering them the gift of being noticed.  It is distinctly a form of praise: they are the universe for a few moments and I’m grateful to be part of it.

Being conscious to what and who is around me at all times is simultaneously exhilarating and exhausting.  I must reduce the expanse of creation to fit my limited synapses, so I can take it all in without exploding with the overload, to make sense of the “mess” around me and within me.

Noticing is only the beginning.  It concludes with praise and gratitude.

2 thoughts on “Trying Not to Miss a Thing

  1. I so enjoy noticing the detail, the minutiae, of God’s Creation, along with the big picture—the mountains, waters, trees and easy-to-notice shrubs and plants. A small wildflower. A mushroom. Lichens. An industrious insect. The inhabitants of the tide pools. But many people who enjoy these same sorts of things develop a sense of worship of the “things” rather than the worship of the Creator. When I am enjoying His Creation, I continue to give HIM praise. He inhabits our praise and He is so pleased with it. Her has given us gifts, not only of His Creation and its incredible diversity, but He has given us the eyes, brains and hearts to enjoy it. He deserves our Praise and we must offer it often and freely. Thanks for your lovely photos, thoughts on the committed life and appreciation for the things that I enjoy, too.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for sharing this!! Blessings to you and the huge task you daily face – so grateful that you are willing to be used in God’s creation to help others!! Thank you for being obedient to Him!!

    Liked by 1 person

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