by Patrick Heard

I passed by an old door laying by the playground by the school near my house. I wondered how the door got there. More than that I wondered if anyone else had seen it. Week after week it laid there. Didn’t someone from lawn care or maintenance notice the door too? It bothered me that no one cared but I am sure that some would say I was just being OCD about a door discarded by the side of the road. Who cares about a trashed-out door? Finally, after more than a month, I picked up the door and carried it to a nearby reclamation center. It felt good to do something that needed to be done.

The insignificant door brought to mind a significant truth: There are people like that door, out of place, damaged, does anyone see them? They may feel like a discarded door that others have walked by for weeks and months asking themselves if they matter to anyone!

This is not just a question for counselors, but for everyone. Do we see people in need, or do we label people that stand out of place: different, awkward, not our kind of people? Will we stop and talk? When they talk, will we listen, and let them tell their stories? Do we see them for who they really are? Are they a diagnosis or a cluster of symptoms? Do we care? Do we show that in how we listen? Do we notice the details of their lives?

Do we understand how they got to the place they are in? Do we notice their pain from watching others pass by and not get involved in their lives? Do we believe the stories others have told about them or do we listen to their story?

Can we say that we see people in need if we just walk by? Do we really see if nothing changes in them and/or in us?

Do you see what I see?