Faults and mistakes of omission are so very easy to ignore. We become far more obsessed with actively committed transgressions. What we do is given far more weight than what we omit. It’s the sin of the rich man in Luke’s story of Dives and Lazarus (16:30). The sin is that Dives did not notice Lazarus. There is a lack of attention and concern in not noticing. There is absorption with self innot noticing. There is out-of-hand dismissal of the “golden rule” in not noticing. Yet, how often I wish to be noticed. How often in hard times or painful predicaments do I wish someone to notice and take pity.
The scraps from Dives’ table might have saved Lazarus, but Dives gave the scraps to the dogs and didn’t notice Lazarus and his plight. The barking dogs were noticed because they were persistent and annoying but a poor beggar at the gate is easily ignored.
I have been Lazarus and begged often for certain favors. I have also been Dives and failed to notice those who might be seeking something from me.When one suspects, but is not sure, that another is reaching out, I often dismiss the possibility that my own perception is right and thus I avoid noticing.