Diviner of Real Persons Within
By: Mark E. Cook - 2009
People are God’s masterpieces. I feel each one should be visually enjoyed and savored to their maximum potential within their natural settings, unlike the greatest works of art by earthly painters hanging lifelessly on the sterile walls of fine museums and art galleries. For most folks this is called people watching. People watching at my level, is like interacting with a Rembrandt or Picasso. One can smell the musky perfume of a Mona Lisa, or hear the childish giggles of a Blue Boy and Pinkie, or closely examine the half-severed ear of a Van Gogh.
No doubt about it, I am an out of the closet, card carrying, life time membership paid in full, people watcher. I passionately practice my craft both overtly and covertly while standing in lines, walking down sidewalks, riding up and down escalators, strolling along the beach (Ok, ok, I confess……..nude beaches at one time in my younger life. Lord, deliver me.), sitting in busses, waiting at airports and train stations, anywhere at the mall, sitting in church, and at one of the most hallowed spots of all for people watching aficionados like me; Disneyland. WARNING: For those who have but little experience in people watching, Disneyland can cause brain neuron overload resulting in migraine or ice cream “brain freeze” headaches, which may bring a quick end to your festive visit to the Happiest Place on Earth.
Depending upon the subject matter of my game, whom we shall call pawns, I glance, peer, inspect, stare, gaze, glimpse, examine, peek, watch, gawk, leer, gape, observe, scrutinize, and sometimes, I even just look for the pure joy of it. At times when I have seen an interesting potential pawn approaching my way, to get a better view I have crossed streets, changed directions, used bushes or other objects to help me blend into the environment, or even directly steered for a possible head on collision with the pawn so as to more enjoy an up close and personal people watching experience.
I do not discriminate as to my subject matter; male or female, young or old, in shape or out of shape (Hey! I’m in shape. Uh……Round is a shape isn’t it?), rich or poor, those who are pretty on the outside and those who are just pretty on the inside (Good politically correct statement, don’t you think?), normal looking and my favorite of all, those souls that are fearless enough to be, or unfortunately stuck with being truly bizarre examples of God’s greatest creation of all; humanity.
Admittedly, I do so prefer watching the bizarre examples far beyond all others. Nothing like a six foot three, ninety-four pound, heavily pierced, cross dressing, mousse spiked green and purple hair, Doc Martin boots and Gothic makeup wearing
all-American he/she with a 4.0 GPA at Stanford, or a long-retired, way more than amply endowed Denny’s restaurant waitress with two-inch long heavy black eyelashes, undue amounts of makeup applied by a house paint roller, wearing a foot-high bouffant of highly teased and overly sprayed hair that looks like an impenetrable, lacquered hair helmet made of hot buttered yak wool to catch my attention. I savor those moments.
Even so, just watching people pass by can be a bit boring after a period of time. Therefore to battle the tedium, I crank up my rather odd imagination to make my little adventure more interesting by being the only player in my own game I call “The All Seeing, the All Knowing, the Amazing Marco the Magnificent – Diviner of Real Persons Within”. This is a game where I try to conjure up who these strangers are, where they came from and where are they going, what they looked like earlier in life and what they will look like much later in life, what they are thinking as our paths crossed, where they live, how they live, where in the world they bought those clothes, what their significant others look like or why they probably don’t have a significant other, what they do for a living or what they should be doing for a living in my imaginary world. By the time one of my pawns passes by, I have concocted a Reader’s Digest version of their life story, and they don’t have a faintest clue about being a “pawn” in my game.
Just think. You too can have a world filled with people just as you want them to be, anytime and anywhere you please. I am sure we have all played this game to some extent at one time or another, as I have yet to meet a person that hasn’t admitted to being an occasional people watcher. There is only one rule to my game, and it has been designed to avoid potentially embarrassing moments for both parties; AVERT EYE CONTACT AT ALL COSTS. The reason for this rule is that people watching stops being a secret game and becomes a potential social event with unknown consequences.
So there I was one afternoon, waiting for a train at the depot and thoroughly enjoying my latest people watching game, when two men hurried by and one said to the other; “Christians? Gimme a break! I can spot THOSE guys from a mile away”, just as the doors to the train closed behind them.
Hmmmm……..I sat there in pure amazement, as being able to truly divine even one of my game pawn’s religions had escaped me to this point. I am a Christian and the Bible says we must show our Christianity to the entire world like a bright beacon in the darkness. I must admit nobody has ever felt the need to put on their Foster Grants when in the presence of my apparently low-watt faith.
I called a timeout, and began to ponder the question of exactly what did or what should a Christian look like exactly.
Ponder, ponder……..ponder………ponder, ponder, ponder….Then it came to me!!!
The Bible’s New Testament is jam packed with descriptions of strong Jesus believers.
Hmmmmm……Too bad the camera wasn’t invented during those times, but then again, would trying to take a photo of Jesus have overexposed the whole role of film due to Him being the Light?
I began scanning, inspecting, examining, and scrutinizing God’s creations here with me at the depot to see if by careful observation I could spot one. All the while, Bible based Godly adjectives in various scripture passages struggled upward from way too deep in my sub-conscious to the conscious, with some trailing quarter-pound dust bunnies.
I looked, and looked and looked. I walked up and down the long crowded passenger platform several times, but I didn’t see any of what I thought to be easily identifiable examples of Christendom.
The platform emptied and filled again with each passing train for the next few hours. Still, nobody’s light shown like a beacon, much less a small, nearly empty Zippo lighter. I was about to pack it up and declare game over, when I spotted one of the God’s creatures with the attributes I had been seeking. Ta-Da! The Christian attributes that had been raised to my conscious level were there for all to see. Unlike most passengers in a hurry to get somewhere, he made a fortuitous decision to hang around the depot for quite some time, and it gave me a chance to take my game into overtime. I tried to make myself as inconspicuous as possible so I could study him and take mental notes. The longer I watched, the more he appeared to be going through life with no anxiety about earthly things, such as he wore a very plain brown overcoat and wasn’t encumbered with the earthly things that bogged down nearly all commuters; cell phone, water bottle, copy of the LA times or Wall Street Journal, a laptop computer and an over-stuffed Corinthian leather briefcase. (Hmmmm……Odd, but why is there no mention in the Bible of leather workers in Corinth? Too much money to be made to sell the cattle for Temple sacrifices?)
This was turning into one of my better watching experiences. The more I observed, the more Christian attributes I discovered, and with each attribute, more scripture came to mind. Fellow people watchers, I would like permission to share a few attributes and the relating Biblical scripture with you, so as to improve the level of your game, as I did.
Meek was my first attribute impression –
- Matthew 5:5 “Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.”
- 2 Chronicles 34:27 “And your heart was soft, and you made yourself low before God, on hearing his words about this place and its people….”
The entire time he was very, very quiet -
- Romans 15:4 “Now those things which were put down in writing before our time were for our learning, so that through quiet waiting and through the comfort of the holy Writings we might have hope.”
He seemed to have very acute hearing ability as he took notice of the slightest of noises, which I wrote off to him having large ears somewhat like my grandfather grew in as he got older and older -
- Luke 8:15 “And those in the good earth are those who, having given ear to the word, keep it with a good and true heart, and in quiet strength give fruit.”
Cautious when strangers got to close or when the trains came roaring in -
- Proverbs 12:26 A righteous person is cautious in friendship, but the way of the wicked leads them astray.
His whole persona seem to radiate his being gentle -
- Matthew 11:29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart; and you will find rest for your souls.
He was vigilant to those around him that could possibly do him harm –
- 1 Peter 5:8 “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.”
He had a clean mouth, as I never heard him curse -
- Colossians 3:8 “But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth.”
He minded his own business -
- I Thessalonians 4:11 “That you also aspire to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business..…”
He was careful in all his movements while moving around the depot -
- Matthew 24:4 “Jesus answered them, "Be careful that no one leads you astray.”
- Luke 1:78 “Because of the tender mercy of our God, whereby the dawn from on high will visit us.”
His Christian attributes were amazing to behold, but I had one troubling observation. For some reason I was just sure he often engaged in highly promiscuous sex.
Unexpectedly from close by, the arriving train blasted its deafening horn, startling both me and the pawn of my latest game. I just sat there, but the bunny hopped away into the bushes.
Are you ready to pray for others?
Matthew 18:19-20, “Again I say to you that if two of you shall agree on earth as regarding anything that they shall ask, it shall be done for them by My Father in Heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in My name, there I am in their midst.”