Jackie Clark & Jim Still-Pepper

guy with magnifying glass FTR TSP 101490121Take a few minutes to play the Notice Game. Sit with a friend, and take a good look at him or her for one minute. Then close your eyes. Ask your friend to make a small change in his or her appearance, like buttoning one button or moving some hair around. Open your eyes, and try to figure out what has been chnged. Then switch roles. And as long as you are hanging out with your friend, why not read this article together?


I don’t know how you did with your friend, noticing the changes; but because youve been reading the devotions this week, you’ve probably noticed that people struggle with a lot of deep issues. Often the deeper their pain, the more they try to hide it. I know this is true in my life. It makes me wonder how many of my friends are strugling and I am not noticing because I am not paying attention.

How do you take notice and help a friend who is struggling? This simple three-step process can change the way you see other people.

Pay attention to their
 +  Words: What do they say? How do they say it? What don’t they say?
 +  Emotions: Are they sad? mad? frustrated? happy?
 +  Behavior: Are they acting in ways that seem to be uncharacterstic? Have they stopped doing what they used to enjoy? Have they started doing someting destructive?

 +  Spend time with them. Talk. Laugh. Cry.
 +  Most important, listen. The best way to listen is to give them something to talk about. Ask them questions, and listen
to their answers.

devozine Talking with Parents TS 786312123. SHARE
 +  Connect them with a trusted adult. Encouage them to share their pain with an adult they trust.
 +  Offer to be there when they talk to an adult.
 +  Recognize that if your friend is in danger of hurting himself or herself or other peeple, you may need to involve an adult, even if your friend doesn’t want you to.


God knows when we are in pain and often uses us to care for others. We need to be tuned in and willing to partner with God in order to help each other.



Read Exodus 3:7–19. What was God aware of? How did God care for God’s people? Though God could have saved the people without Moses’ help, notice that God made Moses a partner in freeing the Hebrew people. How does God want to work with you to help your friends?


>> By the way, did you notice the misspelled words in this article? When we don’t slow down and pay attention, it’s easy to overlook errors in what we read. The next time you are with your friends, be sure you are reading well. Take time to be aware, to care, and to share if you need to.

Consider playing the Notice Game with friends you are concerned about. Once you have played the game with them, you can say, “I have been noticing some things about you, and I would like to listen. What are you struggling with?”

Jackie Clark & Jim Still-Pepper are both from Zanesville, Ohio. Jackie loves to take notice of the changes in her son as he grows and develops. Jim uses these ideas in his work as a counselor.

—from  devozine  (March/April 2014). Copyright © 2014 by The Upper Room®. All rights reserved.

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