If you look close enough

Teens from church visit a senior member's home and take a closer look at her life. Fairfield, CA, August 2003.

Teens from church visit a senior member’s home and take a closer look at her life.
Fairfield, California, August 2003.

“Even the most ordinary life is a mystery if you look close enough.” Kennedy Fraser

It seems to me one of the saddest aspects of modern culture that people get a lot of their reality from television shows.  Admittedly I know very little about it since I’ve shunned television for over 25 years now, but the term “reality TV” seems an oxymoron.  How could anything on television be reality?  Even the so-called news is carefully packaged, edited and slanted to someone else’s specifications.

If reality TV is popular, it’s probably because people are basically fascinating to begin with.  I realize I might get an argument here, but I honestly believe it.  I have never ceased to be amazed at the complexity of each and every life I’ve ever been acquainted with, and the fact that there are millions and billions of them only increases my awe that each life is very different from every other.  If people seem all alike and boring to you, it may be that you’re not looking closely enough.

I guess the blogosphere is the online version of reality TV.  But at least here, we can talk back and forth, and get to know each other.  Some of you I have met in person, some I have known for years, and some I have never met, but feel as if I have; as if we could go to lunch and talk as old friends do, with no awkward silence or pretension.  I love that.  I love that I have come to know a little bit about so many people all over the world, people who were totally unknown to me before, whose existence was hidden to me by the limitations of geographical distance and half-imaginary borders of culture, nationality or age differences.  More than ever, we are surrounded by rich opportunities for friendship, understanding, and joy.

Not everyone is comfortable interacting online, and that’s OK.  But all of us, no matter our preferences and habits, daily come into contact with lots of people whose lives touch ours in some direct or indirect way.   I’ve found that life is much more interesting when I stop to take a closer look at the people in my life.  It’s a lot harder to stay depressingly immersed in the relatively small world of my own challenges and troubles; a lot easier to avoid despair when I realize that we all struggle at times, and have much to offer each other.

Who are the celebrities of your personal world?  Who is in the supporting cast?  If your life was a reality TV show, who would be the characters we’d come back to see again and again?  There is mystery in the ordinary; can you unravel it?  Stay tuned!

This post was first published seven years ago today. The original post, comments and photo are linked, along with two other related posts, below. These links to related posts, and their thumbnail photos, do not appear in the blog feed; they are only visible when viewing the individual posts by clicking on each one. I have no idea why, nor do I know how they choose the related posts. That’s just the way WordPress does things.


  1. MaryAnn

    Drew & Erin at Sister Margaret’s home! How special for the teens to get to know her. She loved God & His people to the max!

    • She really was a special lady. I’m so glad I have this photo, and the memory of that evening. I have some of you with Matt and a few others at the Sinclair’s home that same night! So many precious people have left this earth, but continue to bless us with the memories.

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