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Seeing Beyond Things

I once volunteered to help two elderly and somewhat reclusive brothers from my neighborhood with the very difficult task of moving out of their childhood home, which was scheduled for demolition. I did not know them well. Recently I began to feel a desire to write about the tenderness that experience held for me. I managed to track down the brother I had worked with, side-by-side, on that cold, damp autumn day a few years ago.

When we spoke, I shared with him what I had seen behind the crumbling walls of his weary house. How I had glimpsed the rich life that could not be hidden beneath the belongings piled high in every room and stacked precariously upon every flat surface. I told him that while he remembered his life out loud as we sifted through musty boxes in narrow rooms, I had imagined the colorful family that once lived there. “Didn’t the house itself even seem to sigh lovingly while listening to him reminisce,” I offered? In response he exclaimed; “Oh! You are like that! I didn’t know you were someone who sees beyond things.”

Yes, that is exactly who I am. And so is he, it seems. Not long after our conversation, I received a very sweet letter from him. In it he offered me this simple yet profound (and perfectly quirky) advice, he said;

“In the meantime–‘keep watching.’ It expands your world. Just a few weeks ago I wrote everything I knew on a dinner napkin. But I lost it.”

Our every encounter with one another, all of our relationships in this life are holy. Each one has the potential to be a sacred exchange, whether it involves laughter or tears; a simple smile or even a sneer! We need only pay attention. There is so much divinity in the everyday if we have eyes that not only see but also perceive and if we can listen with ears that hear with an open heart.

Keep watching, keep noticing, look and see beyond things. It’s good advice. Be someone like that. It really does expand your world.

See the divinity in the everyday, every day.

3 Comments Post a comment
  1. billandcindy #

    You’re a good neighbor, Lori, and a good egg. Always have been. xoxo

    June 27, 2012
  2. Sheryl Moeller #

    This made me cry. Beautiful!

    July 26, 2012
  3. Perfect, beautiful advice. Thank you for that wonderful insight into that man and home!

    February 20, 2017

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