Angling into San Jose on our plane, my seat mate threw out an interesting comment an hour ago: “I hate San Jose,” she muttered. “Nothing ever happens here. Nothing.”

Nothing? My only thought at first was, “Wow.” Here we were, birds-eying a half million homes clustered around ball diamonds, malls, hotels, and bowling alleys. Nothing ever happens here? Really?

Every home belongs to at least one person. Under every roof a story or three or ten is unfolding. Something is happening. Always. But it’s easy to forget. It’s easier, from up there, at least, to see the forest—the city—instead of the trees—the homes, the stories, the people. The needs.

I do something funny when I’m on a flight (okay, I think it’s funny. Maybe you think it’s just weird). As soon as we’re within a bowshot of the runway, I madly scan the streets and sidewalks trying to spot a person before I land. That may sound easy—cities are full of people, after all. Soccer moms, taxi drivers, joggers, kids at play, workers of a thousand stripes. But today, like I’ve found on many trips, I didn’t see a single human being out and about as we descended. Not one.

I wonder how many of us forget that something is always happening. That God is always at work. I wonder how often I go through a day without truly seeing a human being, without appreciating their worth, their story, and perhaps even my place in it?

In an ironic revelatory twist, my seat-mate was revealing something of her heart to me. Because she was flying in to San Jose. She was there to meet longtime friends for a reunion of sorts. But “nothing ever happens here. Nothing,” would then include her, would encompass her trip too. Also nothing, apparently.

All of this occurred to me now, you understand. Some of these thoughts niggled me while I was sitting next to her, but I couldn’t figure out what to say or how to say it in the moment. Typical. What I pray, Lord Jesus, is that she realizes that her story counts, that she counts, that she’s important to you. And that her little trip, her presence, her voice, her gifts… are something.