Searching for Opportunities To Serve in Everyday Life

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“Having eyes do you not see, and having ears do you not hear? And do you not remember?” — Mark 8:18.

This scripture has always puzzled me. I do not know how many times Jesus said this. However, it was usually around some point He was making. The implication was not that people were incapable of hearing or seeing. 

Instead, people could not realize what it was they were hearing and seeing. I think it is funny because He was saying it to people who were seeing miracles. I want to believe that if I saw Him raise someone from the dead or cure leprosy that I would be paying attention. I realize there is far too much evidence in my life to the contrary. I am no less thick-headed. I have trouble opening my eyes to see opportunities to serve.

Opportunities to Serve

My wife told me a story this week. While she was shopping, she heard a child throwing a fit. We have all seen moms and dads with a kid throwing a fit. We have been the parent on the receiving end of the fit many times. She did what moms do, though, she listened. This noise sounded different, so she followed the sound.

What she discovered was this: a mom with a cart of groceries was at the checkout line. The mom was standing with both hands clenched on the push bar of the cart. Her child was standing facing the mom but surrounded by the mom’s arms and the cart. The size of the kid put the mom at a disadvantage, and this fit was getting physical. There is a level of strength that is beyond ordinary. Mary recognized the situation.

Mary approached the mom and just said: “Can I help?” The mom managed to say, “My wallet is in the car!” Problem recognized. If she lets go of the cart, the kid gets away. If she hangs on, she cannot get the wallet. If the kid gets away, the mom might not be strong enough to get the kid back. She also needed groceries and included in that cart were items that had the kid fixated.

Then Mary noticed a cashier, a manager, an adjacent cashier, and some miscellaneous customers all standing there. They could have thought they were seeing one large fit from a kid old enough to know better. They could have assumed they were watching a parent who lacked skill. Neither was true. They could have realized something was special here, but just had no idea what to do. Either way, just watching.

Open Your Eyes to Serve

My beautiful soul mate bought some extra groceries that day. She kept telling me about this. As she was paying, the cashier attempted to explain their inactivity. Please hear this – I am not throwing them under a bus, but they did not have eyes to see or ears to hear. In this case, maybe my wife was at that store for this specific purpose. However, it is just as likely that any of them could have helped. It is also expected that I have been a spectator when I should have been a volunteer many times.


Author: Rick Claiborn

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