April 25, 2014

Do you see what I see? by Vickie Stam

I'm a people watcher. I notice some of the simplest things. I appreciate people's strengths and weaknesses. I pay close attention to their likes and dislikes..... I want to know what makes them tick.

I find it incredible when I walk by someone on the street and notice their appearance shares a striking resemblance to that of a friend or family member, someone I know well. I feel as though I have just seen that person's "twin." Curious, I can't help but turn on my heels and watch as they go about their business unaware that I am fascinated by them. My mind immediately begins putting together mental notes of further similarities.

I consider their smile and how contagious it felt, the way they stepped over every crack in the pavement, careful not to land on it or how their baseball cap rested on their head; its beak looking back as if to bid me farewell. Eventually I turn and continue walking unable to let go of the images that flood my mind. The likeness is so astonishing, I shiver.

Their outward appearance is indeed eye-catching and I wonder if it's possible for them to share the same accord on the inside as that of the person they reflect.

Why not? Are not all things possible with God?

If you're a writer like me you might find yourself somewhat more intrigued by such similarities. Do questions chase your thoughts long after the person has disappeared?

Do find yourself wondering if they are someone overflowing with joy and happiness in all circumstances or are they consumed by pain and suffering, struggling from one day to the next, desperate to overcome the very thing that weighs them down?

It's not always necessary for such questions to be raised simply by a reminder of someone we know. People all over the world are living examples of joy and suffering. Their lives are captivating; everyone with a story to share.

The bible teaches us to live by the Spirit possessing character traits we know as fruits of the Spirit, such as....love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. All of these attributes make for a heart-warming tale.

Yet, if I'm honest I would have to admit there are times when it feels like a tall order. I don't want to be kind. I'm impatient with the situation at hand and I can't always find joy in the midst of tears. But God didn't promise a life without trials. Certainly I'm not alone. The truth is.....if we make known our experiences we will most likely assist in someone's healing process, maybe turn a frown into a smile or sustain someone's laughter a little while longer.

I hope my writing exposes the everyday occurrences that transpire in life revealing the highs and lows that undoubtedly shape our character, show where we've been on our journey and explore where it is we plan to go.

God wants us to rejoice always and in all circumstances.....but it's not always easy. Isn't it wonderful to know that we are not alone! Someone out there has walked that familiar path, cried those same tears, and reminded us that a smile can be contagious.

I want my readers to know that no matter what we look like, where we've been or where we're going, we can do it with the help of God who walks beside us and along the way places people in our path who have gone there before us.
1 Thessalonians 5:11  "Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing."
When we're ready to share our story.....someone is longing to hear it.


  1. I'm a people watcher, too, although perhaps not as analytical as you !

  2. I am inspired through this to pay more attention to others character. And, I am more eager than ever to put my pen to paper and magnify the character traits of those whom I write about.
    Thank you for the inspiration Vickie

  3. Thanks for sharing your comments, Tracy and Melanie.

  4. I think your final words are important ... When we're ready to share our story....someone is longing to hear it. Some stories take a long time to be able to share.
    I too enjoy people watching.

  5. It must be a common trait with us writers - I love people watching too. It's fascinating and often I have to remind myself not to stare! A lot of stories and characters can develop from people watching. I will have to carry a note-pad in my purse and develop this fine art even further. Thanks for the great thoughts, Vickie!
    Pam Mytroen

  6. Vickie, I see we share a common interest... people watching was something I learned as a child out on outings with my parents as they liked to watch people too. It was such a pleasant pastime.

    I, too, am often struck by how they remind me of someone I care about and suddenly I feel my heart reaching out to them in a whispered prayer... that they would know Him and that peace, joy and protection would be theirs that day.

    I so enjoyed reading your post and learning a little more about you.

    Many blessings for a great week ahead,

  7. Vickie, I have learned to become more of a people watcher and also people prayer but in a very unique way. I used to be so destination-oriented that I noticed little else, even as a passenger. Then the Holy Spirit convicted me about my attitude. Now I am learning (still) to be aware of the people behind the broken down car that's blocking traffic or the man who is really slow in crossing the street because of an injury or just people that I look out and see who seem to be alone or sad. The Spirit has made me more aware of their inner pain or turmoil and now I pray. I have no idea of their exact needs but I pray and hope that they will be comforted or helped or encouraged in some way. It's kind of an odd thing but I am thankful for the privilege to pray and, in turn, it encourages me too. Funny how that is--God knows us so well.

  8. Thanks all you "people watchers" for your encouraging comments. We do share many similarities. Glad that Connie prays for the people she crosses paths with. That's wonderful to pray without knowing them or their circumstances. I can't say that I have specifically prayed for them but I have felt that God placed them in my path and I do acknowledge that when I pray. I've learned so much from noticing small details. I'm enjoying getting to know all the contributors. I feel blessed!

  9. Nice, Vicki. When I watch people I always see them as children first and wonder what they were like as a little one. I wonder what their home life was like. I wonder if their parents loved them; if they had it tough; if they had things handed to them on that proverbial silver platter; if pain and misery were part of their growing up. Then I look at them as adults and appreciate their weathered souls; their joyful smiles; their telltale hearts; their weathered, furrowed brows; their skip in their step; stooped, slumped shoulders. People fascinate me. And when I am really in a mood I people-watch and imagine everyone as cartoon characters!

  10. I believe that people watching is a kind of voyeurism we writers do. I like what Glynis says about praying for the people we observe. I also think of Mother Teresa's comments on seeing Jesus in the people she meets. I would like to do this more consciously or pray as Glynis does, but on a more casual basis a person may spark a thought for a poem or a descriptive paragraph.


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