A lesson on paying attention

To a three year old, a magnifying glass is the greatest thing to have on a hike. My son who generally asks for snacks every five minutes and wants to be carried after a few steps, never once asked anything of me during a recent two-mile hike. With his magnifying glass in hand, he had a window into this beautiful and magical world at his fingertips.

We walked a muddy path around a lake and every few steps we heard Isaac’s voice, “Look, mommy, look!” I’d find him scrunched down on his knees with the magnifying glass up to his eye, and a smile of delight across his face.

Together we analyzed green moss on rocks, fungi on trees, foot prints of varying sizes, and red berries on bushes.

Each time Isaac stopped to look, I’d turn my eyes in his direction. I followed his lead. I looked and marveled. I gave thanks for this nature-loving boy, but also for the reminder to pay attention.

I hope I can keep this sense of awareness that my son innately possesses.

When my first impulse is to scroll or refresh the latest news, I want to do what my son does: look at the gifts right in front of me.

When I try to do all the things at once, I want to do what my son does: pause to see the tiny hints of new life growing.

When I forget to breathe deeply, I want to do what my son does: stop, stoop down, and look at the path beneath my feet.

When I fear for the future, I want to do what my son does: point to new life growing in unexpected places.

When I focus on all I lack, I want to do what my son does: marvel at creation in all its miniscule and grand beauty.

When I wonder if there’s hope to be found, I want to do what my son does: invite others to join me and walk on the path ahead, together.

So grab your shoes and a magnifying glass. Open your eyes. Bear witness to the way the light greets you. Stoop down and see the ground where a sprout is waiting to burst forth.


// If you're looking for a way to go deeper with God and your faith this February, I'd like to invite you to a week-long email series, Abundant Love, exploring 1 Corinthians 13. My friend Erin and I are teaming up to bring this to you. We are both mothers, writers, encouragers and Lutherans who want to share the radical freedom found in God’s grace.

From February 10-17, 2021, we’ll send an email each morning with a Bible verse, reflection, questions for pondering and a practice for the day. Sign up here to learn more and get on our email list!