I heard a story in the past months that has stayed with me. One of our Sisters recounted a situation that took place while she was teaching grade school. A boy stood in the midst of some of his classmates with this Sister and said, “Don’t “nore” me”. “You can do anything else you want to me, but don’t “nore” me.” It took me a moment and then I realized he was saying, “ignore.” “You can do anything you want to me but don’t ignore me.” Those of us listening to the story of course immediately realized that at times children are insensitive to one another, ignoring, avoiding, discounting, etc. which is so hurtful to children.
Almost simultaneously and it was the original intent of the Sister telling the story, we realized that as adults we do this as well. We ignore one another at times. We bury our heads in the sand and keep walking. We avoid getting involved. Rather than acknowledging that someone may need our attention, our care or be included it is easier to say something to someone else and just ignore the person entirely. Nore…Ignore!!
How often have I ignored someone out of fear or uncertainty or not knowing what to say? How often have I felt ignored, discounted even excluded? How did I feel? How often have I ignored what is taking place within, avoided the pain, discounted the possibility, closed my eyes to changes taking place within because at the moment it seemed easier to stay in the same scenario rather than to take notice and change.
In the Gospel of Luke (3:10-18) for the Third Sunday Advent, a persistent question emerges, not once but several times, “What should we do?” the crowd asks John the Baptist. Their question arose out of John’s invitation to look more closely at their lives. What should we do? John’s response is share, use only what you need, be in right relationship and be willing to work toward right relationship by paying attention to what it taking place within and around. Be grateful with what you have in life. “What should we do?” John goes one more step, he also invites them to live in hopeful expectation.
Hopeful expectation…even as the moment may not seem hopeful: Pay attention, be watchful, take notice, acknowledge. The Divine Spirit within is with us as we take the step to do something different, to see the world around us in a new way, to begin new traditions.
What should we do? Notice. Hopeful expectation comes quietly and gently as newly fallen snow. Have I perceived it?
Our invitation is to embrace noticing.
Blessings and peace,