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  • Jason Pino

Taking Notice

Have you ever seen the movie “Shawshank Redemption”? It's based on a novella written by Stephen King about a man named Andy Dufresne who was wrongfully convicted of a crime and his ordeals in prison. At the end of the movie, spoiler alert , Andy Dufresne escapes. One of the things he takes with him was the Wardens suit and dress shoes. The narrator of the movie comments on how Andy was able to walk to his cell wearing the dress shoes with no one noticing. The narrator comments “I mean how often do you look at a man's shoes?’ I think that he is right. So often every single day we miss important details simply because we just are not taking the time to look. 

A few weeks ago, a young man knocked on our door asking for food. This is a pretty common occurrence. However, before going to get his food I looked down and noticed that he was barefoot. I asked him what had happened to his shoes and he said he couldn't wear them because they were too small and hurt his feet. Thanks to the generosity of our supporters, we often have a few pairs of shoes in our donation bins. I was able to find a pair the correct size and give them to the young man along with a fresh pair of socks. I wondered afterwards how long he had been walking around barefoot on the harsh concrete that day. I wondered if anyone else had taken notice earlier. After all, how often do we look at a man's shoes. Something else caught my attention afterwards. When I answered the door why did he only ask me for food? Why didn't he ask me for a pair of shoes as well? I can only guess that he didn't think we had any and so there was no point in asking. I mean he had often received food from us. But he didn't know about the shoes.  

At RHM we have trained ourselves to look for a notice the little things that most people might notice. We do this in part from years of experience. But we also do so because we care so deeply for the youth who access our services.  Our staff and volunteers are always coming to me and saying did you notice how so and so was acting tonight? Or to tell me how they noticed the smallest details about our youth which informs us of how to take better care of them and to remind them that they matter to us and are important. Also, the longer a youth stays with us the more thy begin to trust us and they know that we are looking out for them so they will often feel confident to ask us for help. They know that we won't judge them or make them feel bad just for asking. Throughout God’s word we see examples of how Jesus noticed people who seemed to be insignificant to everyone else around Him. It speaks to how much he valued all people and no one was unimportant to Him. The next time you see someone who you might otherwise pay no attention to take a moment to stop and really look. You just might be able to change a life with even the smallest act of kindness. 

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