What I See

22nd February, 2013, sitting in a beachside park, Blackmans Bay, Tasmania.

I love to watch people.

Not really sure why. They are so fascinating, and as a silent observer, I find so many things in them to ponder. Strangers seem to tell stories about themselves without even saying a word.

I pass a group of young people loitering on the street. Their casual dress, loose body language and gang-like appearance make me feel a threatening undercurrent that I quickly walk away from. I imagine they are nothing more than small afraid children on the inside, though. Insecure, shallow people who truly don't understand life. I feel a pang of sympathy for them.

An elderly lady walking her dog wanders by where I sit. She smiles, and I smile back as I comment on her dog. The old woman is small, and her face bears many wrinkles. Did she have a hard life, I wonder? Did she have a lot of heartache and pain, or was her life kind to her? Does she have any regrets? Or any family even, to go home to? My face relates none of my busy thoughts as she continues on her way.

Two young men on bicycles pass me, and I busy myself looking at my pen and paper as they do, not wanting to draw attention to myself. Why do I do that? Mayhap I could've smiled at them, and treated them with that much kindness, at least. But no; I fear their worldly looks and manner more than I wish to show them any Christian love. They cycle off and I wonder where they are going. Are they going home? Or to have a night on the town? Do they have parents who love them, or do they cry themselves asleep at night, hungry for a love and kindness no matter how small - like what I could have give? By now though, it is too late.

I watch a man and a woman supervise two small children on the beach. They look to be in their late 40's. Parents or grandparents? I ponder. The little boy squeals as the wind catches his body board and threatens to toss it onto the road. The little girl meanwhile, screams at the sight of a dead fish, and the woman takes her hand and leads her away. They sound like spoilt children, but I smile fondly. Little kids take to me the quickest out of anyone else, and I love it. They play together in the ice cold water and I wonder how they bear it. Were they born here, and are used to this weather? Will the children grow up into lovely young adults, or will they be twisted by the world?

My attention is distracted by a clunk, and I look up to see a guy fly past on a skateboard. I note his jeans and nice collared shirt accompanied by a neat haircut and am pleasantly surprised by the unorthodox appearance. I wonder where he is going, and what his day has been like.

Many people walk past where I sit on the grass by the beach; writing in my book with one hand, holding the fluttering pages down with the other. What do they see? A weird girl in a navy polkadot shirt, plait, and funny hat? Do they think it's odd to see someone writing on raw paper with a pen rather than a phone or tablet? Do they find it bizarre that I am alone, listening to the sound of the wind and waves rather than music from earphones? Or do they ponder why I might smile at them shyly when they don't even know me? What do they see?

Do they see a bit of Jesus trying to reach out to them through me? Do they see my heart full of yearning for her future and a longing to move people in the present? Do they hear my fluttery thoughts of people and places, or do they happen to notice the Rock my life is anchored to?

I lift my head and look around. I see all these people of different ages, sizes, colours, walks of life, and I wonder... what do they see?


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  1. Replies
    1. Thank you for reading them, Emily! <3

  2. Glad you think so, Jonathan. :)

  3. This was a very good read, and it makes one stop and think.
    Thanks for posting. :)

  4. You're welcome, Rosie! Thankyou for reading. :)

    Was great seeing you on the weekend, by the way! :D

  5. Very good... It seem like I am pretty much like you in this way... I too often watch/study people and wonder about their private lives and how I can reach more of them for Christ.

  6. It is a fascinating and sometimes sobering way to be concerning others. :) I always want to know if people have God's love in their life in some form.


Please feel free to share your thoughts. I would love to hear your perspective. Let's learn from each other.