In our neighborhood we have one of those “free library” book boxes where people can drop off used books and pick up a new one. My seven year old makes regular pilgrimages to the box, because she loves to read (like her daddy). And she’s cheap (like her daddy). So win win.
There’s just one problem: the average age of our neighborhood is 126. There are not many younger families, and that means there are rarely children’s books in the free library. There are romance novels. And James Patterson mysteries. And back issues of Guideposts and books on how to house train your cat (spoiler: you don’t). But there are rarely – if ever – children’s books. (On a side note, we have one particularly wonderful neighbor grandma who occasionally sneaks books into the library with notes to Haven, but that’s another story for another day.)
So over the weekend when Haven and I made our regular trek up to the box, I fully expected for her to be disappointed as usual. I arrived at the library a few seconds before she did, and I started thumbing through the books. As she rolled up on her scooter, she yelled, “Daddy, are there any books for kids in there?”
I replied, “No baby, I didn’t see any.”
And she shot back, “Well Daddy, you need to see harder!”
That’s adorable. Shut up. Yes it is.
But it reminded me of a bigger point (and there’s no way you’ll ever guess what it is!):
We need to see harder.
When we’re preparing our facilities for company, we need to take notice of the trash and the clutter. We need to see harder.
When we’re reviewing our systems and strategies for our guests, we need to make sure they are serving them and not us. We need to see harder.
When we’re making our way down the sidewalk on a Sunday morning, we need to watch out for those who are alone. Those who aren’t being engaged. Those who seem disconnected. We need to see harder.
When we’re bemoaning our lack of volunteers, we need to keep an eye out for those who may want a place to serve, but just don’t know what is available to them, their skill set, and their schedule. We need to see harder.
Seeing harder takes effort and energy. It means we keep going after we’re tired. It means we persist after others give up.
What do you need to see harder this week?