I’m not too distracted by the occasional posts that pop up on my Facebook stream, prompting me to click on a link to see the drastic changes of childhood actors who played in favorite family television series and movies. I may have known their characters well, but I don’t know the actors at all.
I’m a little more interested in the people I’ve lost contact with but can now access a quick update through social media. I don’t even need to have known them super well. For example, a high school friend posted a link to a news story about a kid (yes, I know he’s forty-something now, but he seems like a kid to me), who is a couple years younger than me and was always a goofball. I learned he’s apparently earned over two dozen Emmys and is kind of a big deal. Another kid around the same age, who had earned a perfect score on his ACT, was highlighted in a recent “Where Are They Now” column for his work associated with this year’s Peace Prize in physics. And then there are the posts that might seem less sensational but are just as important and fun to see: growing families, reaching personal landmarks, and overcoming burdens.
But the people I wonder about the most are the people I can’t possibly catch up with, people I don’t know where they are now, or in many cases, even their names! I often meet up with individuals as I travel. Like the time I got delayed in Chicago O’Hare on Super Bowl Sunday and ended up watching the game with a large, group, rowdy crowd, including the mom who was stressed about having left her college daughter in London despite not finding her an apartment. The couple across the aisle was from London and knew a friend renting in the same area. Problem solved. I wonder how they’re all doing.
Or the young woman beside me on my last flight to Israel, who was visiting her cousin, who was dying of cancer. She just wanted a few more memories and moments with her. After watching an in-flight movie with a character battling cancer, she was a wreck, uncertain as to how she would be able to handle seeing her cousin.
Or the older couple my husband and I met on our last trip to Jamaica. We enjoyed their company at dinner, on the beach, and on a day trip.
Or the young couple we met in Cozumel. They were so eager to start their lives together, enjoying their trip, throwing caution to the wind.
Or the eighty-something Jewish man beside me the plane, who was preparing for his bar mitzvah this fall. I wonder how it went!
I love that God weaves people in and out of my life, but sometimes, I wish He’d give me a little more than a glimpse.
I need to be more appreciative. At least, I had that moment. That’s really all I need. I got an opportunity to listen to, learn from, and pour into someone. When someone comes to mind, I can do something much more meaningful than reading a newspaper article or Facebook update. I can pray.
And I can focus on who is in front of me right now, so I take the next opportunity to listen to, learn from, and pour into someone.
God continues to weave.