She Stared Into My Soul

I entered in, and already there weren’t too many seats so I spent some time looking around. Spotting some familiar friends, I saw an empty seat and made the awkward gestures of “is that seat open?”. A quick nod, and I even more awkwardly climb over my friends to get to my seat.

Between my friends was actually a third.

There was one moment where she stared at me for a while, and I couldn’t help but stare back. A long stare.

I looked into her eyes.

She looked right back at me.

We shared a deep and profound moment. Maybe I had a deep and profound moment, though she probably didn’t comprehend it as such.

She wasn’t just looking at me. She wasn’t looking through me. She was looking at me. And she smiled.

In this deep and profound stare, I realized that I mattered to her, but not in the typical way people matter to others. As she looked at me, I knew it didn’t matter to her what my awesomeness and shortcomings are. She didn’t care.

As I looked at her, I realized what an amazing gift she is to be here staring right back at me.

She stared into my soul.  I stared into hers.

And it was amazingly awesome to just have that brief moment of profoundness.

After a few moments, she went on to her usual fidgeting, playing with her dad’s watchband, throwing her padded book at me, and snuggling in her mom’s arms. She didn’t even cry.

Here’s the context:
It was Palm Sunday, and I was running a little later than normal for being early to Mass. Because of that, and because of the increased attendance due to the significance of the day, I found it challenging to find an open seat in a pew. Luckily, I spotted my two friends and the empty seat next to them, and they had their 11-month old daughter with them.

She’s absolutely adorable! I’ve known her since she was a few months old in-utero.

This was a profoundly deep moment for me exchanging stares with her because how often do I get the chance to just really look at someone deeply and to be looked at similar way? It just made the moment so much sweeter because I know her parents love her so dearly, and I know of their struggles before having her.
And all this during Mass.
– JD