Have you ever felt like everyone else in your family got the talented genes and you somehow got the short end of the stick? This is how I feel every time I attempt even a rude sketch of something. Almost all of my siblings have more artistic talent that I do. One time I asked them to teach me some of the fundamentals of drawing and the first lesson I was given was in “seeing”. Until that lesson, I had equated “seeing” with black and white fact – either you could see something or you couldn’t. It wasn’t until later that I begin to “see” how much sight relies on the trained skill of the “see-er”.
Attention in general is one of the most sought after commodities of our day. Google, Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, and the like will pay millions for your split second attention that results in a momentary click of a button. But all the gold in the world cannot pay for what is truly valuable to us and nourishing to our souls – The full heartfelt attention of someone who sees us with grace and loves us without reservation.
I am pondering this notion of what it means to truly be seen today because I have been struggling with feeling “unseen” as I am currently working from home and traveling often. Where is the source of this need to have our presence acknowledged by another? We often crave the attention and affirmation of others without a clear idea of why. Is it to be reassured that our life has significance and value in the eyes of others? Is it to know that we are making a difference in the world? Is it to know that our life story has a witness?
As I was wrestling with this question of why it was so important to be “seen”, I went on a prayer walk at a nearby park and poured out my frustration to God. With all the turmoil and trauma going on in the world, why should it matter whether someone acknowledges my presence or not on a Sunday morning or not? Why should it matter that I find someone in church who seems interested in hearing the story of my week or getting to know me past the perfunctory introductions? As I jogged around the soccer fields, I came to the conclusion that whatever the reason, it was important to me. In many contexts, I am content with being anonymous, being overlooked in the crowd. But in the body of Christ, I want to be known, to be seen, to be loved. And I was getting impatient as I kept hitting invisible barriers.
As I was rounding the second bend of the soccer fields, I heard these 3 simple words that stopped me in my tracks, “I see you.”
There was a pause and then as I took another step, I heard the next words, “And I’m glad you came.”
The soccer field blurred before me as I let His words touch my heart.
As I walked back to my car, I thought of the deep significance of God’s words. Even when I thought no one noticed my presence, God saw me. He noticed. His simple words reminded me that I am never “unseen”. No matter what I am doing or where I am going, He sees me. And He sees truly taking in all the details of the circumstances around me and the details of what is going on inside my heart.
He is the only One who has the ability to see me with such clarity – He sees me so much better than I can even see myself. He has seen me from the beginning and He has seen every step I have taken along the way. He can lay my heart bare revealing all my hidden thoughts and wrong motivations and yet even seeing all the ugly details of my heart, He still loves me. When He sees me, He gives me His full attention and His heart is for me. He sees me with eyes of Love. And this is what I need more than anything else.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
How precious to me are your thoughts, God!
How vast is the sum of them!
Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand—
when I awake, I am still with you.