Photo Source

Maybe it’s partly my imagination. Maybe I’m hyperaware and just noticing something that was already there, but it’s there regardless.

The lady in the grocery store strikes up a conversation with me about pomegranates. She looks me in the eye longer than I expect. She smiles warmly and lets her black hand linger on my arm.

An African-American co-worker seems more interested lately; maybe because I am too: “How are things going? You doing okay?”

Our tall, muscular, black mailman pulls out his earbud and pauses his hustle to offer a warm greeting. He has a beautiful smile I never noticed before. But then again, he’s never seen my teeth either.

All this while there’s a war simmering in my city. Fear and panic are rising from the pressure cooker; stirring up unhealed wounds and opening eyes. I’m seeing more than ever; mostly noticing that there are more of my people than I thought.

People who are well-aware of the brokenness, but have more questions than answers.

People who are afraid of what angry and hurting folks might do; regardless of their color.

People who want to represent their God and their race well; repenting of their apathy.

People who are worried about each other. People who want to love better.

People like the lady in the produce section, my co-worker, our mailman…

They say in times of crisis and chaos, like-minded people gravitate toward each other. I see it on the news. I’m experiencing it in my daily routine.

Yes, these are my people. I’m noticing them. They are noticing me. We are finding each other; needing each other. We are communicating… mostly non-verbally, but saying more than ever.

I had coffee with a dear friend the other day. She is black. I am white. We are both praying for the same things; both equally afraid in our own city. “Hurting people never respond well, ” we decided.

We are all hurting. Lord, teach us to respond…

That day, I hugged her a little tighter. She noticed.

“Behold, how good and how pleasant it is For people to dwell together in unity!”
Psalm 133:1

21 thoughts on “Notice

  1. November 21, 2014 / 12:24 pm

    It is important that we look at people for who they are regardless of the colour of their skin. When everyone is able to do that, we would definitely have less tensions in our communities.
    (Headed over from FMF)


  2. Kate November 21, 2014 / 1:03 pm

    So moving. Praying, too. May you be salt and light in your community. Thank you for these words.


  3. Anonymous November 21, 2014 / 1:03 pm



  4. Karrilee Aggett November 21, 2014 / 4:51 pm

    Amen! I am noticing more too… in real life, and online, and I am so thankful that blinders are being taken off, and bridges are being built… unity is rising and oh how I am praying for your city – and my city, too!


  5. Anonymous November 21, 2014 / 5:12 pm

    Karen, this is beautifully, perceptively written. When we notice, really notice heart-to-heart, we realize there really *are* no differences, not ones that matter down-deep. But we have to get eye-to-eye, soul-to-soul, heart-to-heart to realize that. Black women have played a significant role in my life for a very long while, and I have lived and worked in inter-racial neighborhoods for many years, though not recently. I hope it's ok, since I don't have a blog presence and because of Ferguson and what you are addressing, to share here an essay I wrote about a beloved African-American mentor to me. On second thought, I do notice differences: She was far beyond me spiritually, but she showed me the grace and love of Christ, and allowed my short-comings, sans judgment, and helped me through my immaturity. Thank you so much for noticing. And I pray for the peace of our city and its citizens. ~Love, Lynn Morrissey


  6. Tara Ulrich November 21, 2014 / 5:49 pm

    Wow!!! This is beautiful! I'm noticing more too. Prayers for the peace of your city—“Gods peace to us we pray.”


  7. Abigail McDonald November 21, 2014 / 5:56 pm

    Karen, this is beautiful. I am praying that we all look past skin and boundaries and neighborhoods. We all have the same needs, deep down. To be loved and cared for and accepted. Thanks for sharing this. So much truth here.


  8. Jeanne Takenaka November 21, 2014 / 6:47 pm

    Beautiful, Karen. I agree with all that's posted above. I like what you said that people notice more when walking through a crisis. May Jesus continue to shine His light through you and other believers during this time.

    Loved your post.


  9. Leah @ Point Ministries November 21, 2014 / 10:39 pm

    To love without regard for race or color is to love like Jesus loves. I want to be like Jesus! A beautiful post that reminds us to see with the eyes of Jesus. #FMFparty


  10. Karen Brown November 22, 2014 / 12:20 pm

    Karrilee- Amen! And I'm thankful that we serve a God who delights in making beautiful things from brokenness. Thanks for stopping by!


  11. Karen Brown November 22, 2014 / 12:21 pm

    Thank you Lynn. I'm happy to direct people to your beautifully written piece. I appreciate your ever-present support and encouragement.


  12. Karen Brown November 22, 2014 / 12:22 pm

    Abigail- Thank you for stopping by and leaving your encouraging words.


  13. Karen Brown November 22, 2014 / 12:23 pm

    Jeanne- Thank you for praying for our city.


  14. Karen Brown November 22, 2014 / 12:24 pm

    Leah- Thank you so much for stopping by. I truly appreciate it.


  15. Amy November 22, 2014 / 7:08 pm

    Amen! I find myself noticing more too. I want to see more of who people are instead of their skin color, clothes, tattoos or other physical attributes. I am praying for your city but even more so I pray for each of us. When we change ourselves,our families and our communities then it will spread.


  16. stephanie November 24, 2014 / 4:22 pm

    I can't say enough about how moving this is. I miss you. I miss St. Louis. I am hurting and noticing what your city is going through from afar (though I also consider it my city still) and am grateful fro the small ways God is working in you and others through this.


  17. SuperLux November 24, 2014 / 5:10 pm

    We need more of each other. We need to be more sensitive to each other's needs. Great post!


Leave a Reply to Abigail McDonald Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s