Do you ever feel unseen?
Perhaps you feel like nothing you do really matters or that those around you aren’t seeing what you do. Maybe your coworkers. Maybe your spouse. Maybe your children. Maybe your friends.
Maybe you, like me, find yourself wondering from time to time if anything you do matters. If anybody sees you.
I can speak most knowledgeably about being an at home parent, because that is what I do now. I stay home. I live behind my front doors, surrounded by people that come to my knee caps and have a very loose grasp of the English language, very little emotional control, and aren’t all that capable or coordinated. It can be really lonely sometimes, but from my years in the workforce, I know these feelings aren’t limited to living behind closed doors.
Maybe you feel like an outsider at work, like you’ve never really connected with anyone, like you live between two worlds of workers – those who like each other and those who despise each other. Maybe you don’t really directly work alongside anyone so you find you don’t have the chance to get to know anyone very well.
Or maybe you find yourself in an even more extreme situation where you really are alone. Family is far away, if even there. Friends are basically non-existent. Your coworkers make you want to stab yourself in the head so you actively avoid them. You felt judged that one time you went to church so you don’t have a faith community or the one you are a part of is really fake and empty (yeah, it happens).
It’s easy to feel unseen in life, as it fills up, as more and more things demand more and more time. As you get married, have kids, get a dog or two, have separate jobs, hobbies you try to pursue, faith you try to keep up – sometimes it all gets to be a lot and suddenly you look around and the space feels empty around you.
It’s nobody’s fault, though, right? Everyone is on that same train, riding that same ride, looking around at the same empty space once they stop for a moment.
It’s easy to forget that God promises to never leave us. All of us. Not just the ones that go to church.
“…Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” –Deuteronomy 31:6
Moses was speaking to the Isrealites, commanding them to follow Joshua into the Promised Land. However, the situation could just as easily be God commanding us to follow Jesus in to our own personal promised lands.
Friends, God sees you. All the time.
I can be a friend that gets too busy to check in with other friends and suddenly I find it’s been two weeks since I talked to this person or that one. God isn’t like that. He’s a much better friend than I am. He’s always there, whenever I need someone. Maybe I pick a bad day to reach out to a friend when I’m having a rough day – maybe she’s in the hospital and can’t reach back because she seriously feels like her body is going to rupture with pain. God is always there. He’s never in the hospital. He never loses his phone or drops it in the toilet.
If you read the Gospels, which I highly recommend if you haven’t, I think you will see a common theme among Jesus’ interactions with people. In every encounter recorded, the person who is sick or seeking him is seen by him. He doesn’t just heal and run, he forgives sins, he reminds them to go and sin no more, he is astonished by their faith or by their lack of faith – he was a professional people seer.
I forget that all to quickly. I want a physical text or email or message back when things aren’t going well and I reach out. The irony is that I always find myself far more fulfilled when I spend that time I would have spent texting back and forth in prayer instead – the answers I receive in prayer are always more satisfying and reassuring.
Because God sees me.
He knows me. He knows my heart. He knows my situation. He knows the details I’m too ashamed or embarrassed to share with others.
So, friends, while I may not be the best at seeing you and others in your life might not see you as much as you want or need to be seen, remember that God sees you and he is just waiting for you to reach out and be seen by him.
Carry on, friends, and try to see someone else this week.