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Thursday, September 8, 2011

Things—(and People)--We Overlook

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Things—(and People)--We Overlook

(Warning: this blog entry starts out lightly but ends on a somber note.) 

I had an “aha moment” last week as I was leaving my hair appointment.
Approaching my car, I observed a lovely budding/flowering tree that was shading my parking space.  As I was unlocking my car door, I wondered what kind of tree it was. Suddenly, a gust of wind brought me face to face with a cluster of leaves/buds that were hiding a bug! I realized if I had not been forced to look closely at the leaves, as the branch hit me in the head, I would have missed the bug! I took pictures to keep as a reminder.
I think this is a stink bug. Am I right?
The cluster that "slapped me in the face!" See the bug?
Any idea what kind of tree this is? I've gotten conflicting opinions!
I was literally “smacked in the face” by the realization that there must be an amazing number of things I miss, simply because I don’t always pay attention to details. It’s certainly easy to miss little things if you’re distracted. My "bug moment" was a reminder to stay focused, stay observant, and stay “in the moment.” 

That lesson was brought home to me again as my friend, Sally Belveal, and I were in Rabun County, hoping Sally would be able to see some bears. We patiently sat by the windows. We even flipped the floodlights on several times, to see if we could catch a glimpse of any bears. No bears the first night. We did see a fox, prowling around a tree! It was the first time I’ve seen a fox in the mountains. If we had not been intentionally looking, by occasionally turning on the lights, we would never have known it was there.

See the fox standing up on the left side of the tree. 
We arose the next morning before 6 a.m. to continue our bear vigil. We kept watch continuously for several hours. No bears. We watched on and off during the day, knowing if we didn’t keep watch, we would miss them. I saw a mama deer with her spotted fawn, but no bruins.

At 5 p.m., we began another dedicated vigil, not moving from the windows for 2 hours. I finally got up and fixed eggplant Parmesan with eggplants from O’Sage, and tomatoes and peppers from our friend, Bobby Suggs, while Sally continued our vigil. We had just helped our plates, and seated ourselves back by the windows to eat, when I caught a glimpse of something in my peripheral vision moving almost behind me.

I turned, and loudly whispered to Sally, “BEAR!” It took her a moment to realize what I meant and look in the right direction. As we watched, a mama bear with two cubs proceeded to explore the area and forage for food. We were able to watch them for twenty minutes! Yet again, if I had not looked down from the second story window, during the twenty minutes the bears were there, we would have missed them!

The next morning, we did another early two hour vigil with no bear sightings.  Afterward, we proceeded to clean and pack up for our return home. Periodically, as we passed through the living area, Sally and I would glance hopefully out the windows. At about a quarter till 8 a.m., I looked out and saw the bears! We were able to observe them for two minutes, until a noise startled the babies and they quickly ran up two trees! As you can see below, they climbed really HIGH, in less than three seconds. When they came down, they quickly disappeared into the National Forest. What a blessing to observe God's creatures in the wild--and we could so easily have missed that two minute opportunity! 

To share a heavier twist on my musings about overlooking "things," I thought of the people whom I've also been guilty of overlooking (the homeless, the mentally ill, prostitutes, etc.) I remembered how stunned I was when I first realized that the prostitutes who were eating supper at my table were "normal girls"--just like my daughter and nieces! I realized with conviction that if my own circumstances had been different, I could easily have been in the same situations as the girls whom I have befriended through Wellspring Living. (It is a myth that most prostitutes "choose" to stay in that lifestyle!) 

Recently, after hearing the statistic that '100 young girls are sold for sex each night in Atlanta,' a friend emphatically told me that she doesn't want to know any more details about child sex-trafficking in Atlanta. She said if she knows about it, she'll have to do something about it. 

I responded, "That's the idea." But, I didn't push it. I understand that it IS easier to ignore the things that make us uncomfortable. Child sex trafficking is ugly. Abused children, adult prostitutes, the homeless, the addicted, the mentally ill, the poor, and others in need are waiting--helplessly and hopelessly--for us to stop overlooking them. We need to help them. It's What Jesus Would Do....

(Contact Wellspring Living, on whose board I serve, for more information on Child Sex Trafficking. Or contact me: Jamie Wyatt

1 comment:

  1. The pictures are fantastic! Your patience admirable! And your point, well taken!


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