Posted by: eliseanne | June 24, 2009

when people are looking at you

No matter who you are or where you are in life, at some times, people look at you for wisdom, strength, support, and answers. And whether you are prepared or not, you do your best to give it.

Mentors, and friends, tend to take on the burdens of those they care for.  I feel as a mentor/friend, people watch me in general, to see how I live, how I react, what I say, and how those relate to the faith that I confess. When one of my teens tells me his/her forever life-changing news/crisis, I walk around with it ever on my mind. S/he says, “I didn’t want to tell you because I am afraid that you are mad,” and I walk around with that ever in my mind, wondering what to say or not, what to do or not, what my nonverbals say or do not say, etc.  Of course I am mad. Well, not mad. Disappointed. Surprised. In shock. But how can I be mad, when I see that the ramifications the teen will face will affect him/her the most. And then I keep wondering if it could all be a mistake, or a plea for attention that will just disappear and not turn out to be real, and I want to stay in that fairy land. Instead, I tense my jaw and try to push it out of my mind, and get a tension headache. How unfair, when I dread the teen’s phonecalls, because of the stress of reality on me.

How do I live in front of the teen when s/he is looking at me?

And then I think of others in my life, who I dont call enough, those who are in crisis. Who I dont know how to console or encourage, when I do call, even though I want to console and encourage.

Do they see what they need to when they are looking at me?

And at work, on planning committees, people are watching me, my attitude, and my stress reactions. While I am feeling the weight of planning a huge event last minute, in a meeting with people I dont know and can’t read, the teen comes into mind again, the jaw tenses, the headache comes, and I start to lose the friendly smile that attracted my husband to me in the 10th grade and replace it with a look of mild irritation that I do my best to disguise or verbally contradict. And I snap at the teenagers, and go home and snap at my husband, without that attracting smile, or take a nap or vent and cry. He is  my burden bearer, my constant support. That is how he lives when I am looking at him.

– How do you hold up burdens when people are looking at you?
– What is the value of “saving face”?
– How do you cope with stress? With being a friend/mentor, when reality hits?

Shalom for you all, your households, and those who look at you as well as on me and mine.

God of shalom, carry these burdens with and for us. Show us how to live and how to handle people looking at us for what only you can give.



  1. It is my joy to help you carry the weight of the eyes in your world! And may you have others to help you carry as well, espically when the weight comes from me.
    -your husband

  2. welcome to early parenthood. (your loving mother who carries your burdens and others to God in prayer). Much love and hugs

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