There’s a little dog outside on the sidewalk this morning. It’s one of those little fox like puff balls, a Pomeranian I think, that get all excitable and yippy when their human comes near. This one is no exception. He/she, I can’t tell, has been staring, straining, longingly, almost painfully towards the doors since being tethered to the little green fence post a few moments ago. The only thing distracting focus from the door is when indigo hair guy stoops down and acknowledges the hyper little prince/princess.
When the door opens again and the human appears, the excitement is pretty much uncontainable. I’m not sure which one has had their morning caffeine already. It’s quite obvious where the allegiance lies. Now that I think of it, there’s no lacking in obvious behavior around here this morning. The furry beast and its human are obvious in their relationship. Older guy is painfully obvious in his establishing contact with younger woman. Old couple is obvious in their desire to preserve their morning ritual of being together yet quite separate. Metro bus driver is obvious in his attempt to take advantage of a stop equipped with public toilets. News paper lady is obvious in her desire to become engrossed in the daily dose of what passes for news in this town. And here I am, obvious in my, hidden behind my laptop, headphone encased, desire to escape the world. It’s neither wrong nor right; it just is what it is.
All of it, day after day, week after week, spent down here in my judgment seat in the corner, leads me to believe that just maybe, despite all of our attempts to the contrary, our motives and behaviors become quite obvious to those who take the time to observe them. I don’t mean in clinical, psychoanalytical, that’ll be $200 and we’ll schedule you for next week, kinds of observations that drive our professional economy. I think that I mean the, I’ll invest a bit in your life because I care, kinds of interactions that our social economy is lacking.
Professionally speaking, as a pastoral artist, I wonder what would happen if I observed those in my “community o’ faith” with the same interest and scrutiny that I give my fellow Starbucks inhabitants? It’s not that I don’t care, or don’t intend to. Our interchanges don’t tend to lend themselves to this. Usually when I see them, they’re on their “Sunday best” behavior. I don’t have nanny cam to see them in their own reality shows. Granted, I don’t have the time it would take to get to the level of investment where the hidden becomes obvious in all of the people I interact with, but someone needs to. If friendships and relationships were more a place of investment, perhaps we wouldn’t be investing as much in our counselors, therapists, and life coaches. I’m not desiring to be trivial in this, because I fully acknowledge the need for some, maybe even many, to employ professional help. But I would also put forth that many of us just need a real friendship. We need to experience time consuming, caring relationships that take effort, and observation, where needs are acknowledged and met, where the hidden becomes obvious.