A woman in my Sunday School class was talking about her trip to Africa and the greeting that a particular tribe used. As they encountered someone, they would look them in the eye and say, “I see you,” and the other person would respond in kind. My heart stirred as I heard those words.
I See You.
This past week was a bit rough. Nothing terrible or bad happened; there were just a lot of little annoying things. My neighborhood bible study was cancelled, but somehow my name was not included in the group email…again. Did they forget about me? Several times while driving, people either pulled out slowly in front of me despite the other empty lane or tried to occupy the same space as me. Did they not see me? While at the grocery store there were two people on either side of the isle leaving no room in the middle for me or anyone else to get through. I said excuse me several times; each time louder than the one before, to no avail. Did they not see or hear me? Add to that a feeling of just not being known because I’m still the new kid on the block and I was left feeling unseen.
I know I’m not alone. I know some of you have felt that way too. Unseen. Unheard. Unknown. It’s frustrating. It’s wearing. It’s lonely.
But the truth is, we are seen. We are seen by a God who loves us dearly, knows us intimately, and hears us when we cry out to Him. Even when we don’t feel it.
He sees you.
He sees me.
He’s even called the ‘One who sees me’ by Hagar, a women who encountered God in the wilderness (Gen. 16:13). And He tenderly reminded me that I am seen. Like when the store clerk smiled at me and asked if I need help when I had a confused look on my face. Or the driver who stopped to let me in even when he didn’t have to. Or the woman at church who, after noticing I was sitting alone, came over to make sure I was doing okay. Or the friend who asked me how I was doing in a way that conveyed her deep desire to know the truth.
Now I see.
The more I remember and abide in God’s love for me, the more I am free to see, really see, those around me. I’m free to notice them and their needs. I’m free to notice their expressions of joy, sadness, fear, grief, anxiety, happiness. I’m free to enter in, to engage, to look them in the eye, to let them know that they are important, valuable, and loved. They are seen. And so are you…