The Benefit of Staring

I have always been an observer. In my childhood years, some (namely my mom) might have called me someone who “stared.” She constantly reprimanded me in public places because my gaze would set on the most interesting figure in the room, and I would stare until my mind had found a conclusion to my curiosity.

Maybe I still am this way, but I try to be more covert in my observations of other people and less like 7-year-old Abi, with her mouth gaping open.

I have travelled the world and observed some interesting things in the public sphere, but the observations that have impacted me the most and at a deep level were those of the people who were in my direct community.

Every night as a child I would creep around the house, in denial of the 9:00 bedtime rule, and I would watch her.

She tidied up our home, watched the 10:00 news, and got ready for bed. Sneaking around, I would check in on these routines to assure my mind the world was spinning exactly as it should.

I would then check in and find my mom praying in her bed. She prayed about her life, about her family, about her plans and talked to God about everything on her heart. This was her ritual, and it did not go unnoticed.

My mom did not have to tell me a lot about who Jesus was and how He loved me; she lived it.

Through nighttime prayers of dependence on God in some of the most desperate times of our small, single-family unit, this example shined.

She would love on people in our community whom many turned away from and would even invite strangers into our home for dinner or to stay a night or two.

In each day, she loved us, and through her example, I saw and found Jesus. This example taught me about my need for Jesus and how He was way more than a distant relative. Life with Him was real, raw, and intimate. I watched my mom’s example and began to mimic it until I realized the soul transforming power of the gospel in my life.


Abi Khavari traveled the world, writing for a non-profit agency in the Middle East. She now lives in Colorado, got married recently, and is earning her master’s degree in counseling.

Back to Top