The Watcher

I had been walking for some time, and still I did not know where I was. In fact, I didn’t even know how long I had been walking, or even if I was walking at all. But I was moving, somehow, although I could not feel the pressure of my feet on the ground. I could not even see my feet, nor could I hear them rhythmically hitting the ground, yet for some reason I was not at all phased by the bizarreness of my situation. I scanned the street, wondering vaguely what this town was called and how I had arrived here. It appeared to be the high street of a small town; the shop windows were filled with colours, shapes, and sizes, none of which I really took in. Around me, people elbowed their way past each other and pushed in and out of doorways, their expressions harried. Their faces struck me–out of all the sights on that street, the faces alone clamoured for my attention. The faces revealed rather than concealed the person inside. Whatever out-of-body state I was in, it seemed to have given me an insight into character that I did not ordinarily possess. The black-suited man who marched past me was not simply frowning–he seemed to be a frown personified. I knew with certainty that there was nothing more to know about him, nothing more to be said, than that he was a man who frowned. The blonde teenager going in the other direction was different. She smiled, but it was a smile that smiled at all the wrong things.

As I continued to walk and to watch the faces around me, heedless of where I was going, it dawned on me that I had reached the edge of the town. Something told me I must go on, and so I made my way through the countryside until I reached a large house. Seeing it, I knew that I must go inside.

I saw the girl almost immediately, as she hurried down the corridor and into her bedroom. She was quite young, but could certainly not be called beautiful. As I watched, she picked something up–I could not quite see what–and ran downstairs again to carry on with her work. Gliding after her, I observed her for the rest of that day and for many days to come, watching what her face revealed about her. She was neither all frown nor all smile, like the man and girl I had seen earlier. Instead, she seemed bent, in and down, as if there was little outside of her own concerns that she could think about. I could not read her thoughts, but I did not have to, for “worrier” was displayed across her face almost as plainly as if it had been written there with a black marker. Nor was it necessary for me to hear her–her face showed, as she spoke, how often she was talking of who or what she felt was wrong. Here, I was sure, was someone who was better at hunting for problems that hunting for joy.

I could see that she sometimes realised what she was doing, that she sometimes did try to think differently, but I saw that she failed more than she succeeded. I wanted to help her. Surely that was what I had been sent for? To somehow show her how much beauty was around her, how much there was to be joyful about, to give thanks for, how many good things there were to think about it. She could not see me, I knew, but somehow I had to get her attention. I stood in front of her, and forgetting she could not hear me, exclaimed, “Foolish, foolish girl! Set your mind on good things!” Desperate to get her attention, I reached out to grab her arm, but to my surprise I hit glass.

It was then that I realised that I was standing in front of a mirror.


A little creative writing–the idea came to me yesterday and I’ve written it today, so it’s not something I’ve spent days on. Constructive criticism is welcome! 

I was in part inspired to write this after hearing an address by Dr David Murray on Philippians 4:8, and what he shared in that address about our thought life has played a key part in shaping this story.

And… it’s my first week to have a double post! 


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