Today, my soul is grieved and weary and hurt.
For my own Hard and the toil it has had in recent days.
For our country’s Hard and the violence, the blaming and the uncertainty.
For our world’s Hard and the suffering and injustice.
Over the past year, there have been moments where the Lord has been quiet. My feelings are loud and it is hard to believe truth. It is difficult to see him working and to hear his voice. Even reading Scripture and prayers can feel a bit hollow and empty.
But there have also been moments where the opposite has been true. There are moments when Scripture comes to life before my eyes and it is as if there is a supernatural highlighter on my Bible. There are moments where, despite my circumstances, I feel him with me and I find myself seeing his grace everywhere. There are times when I have heard him whisper to my soul.
And the most frequent thing he has whispered, over and over and over again,throughout this year is I see you.
I see you.
I’ll be honest that sometimes when I’m hurting and in pain, when I want answers about the suffering and injustice, I see you doesn’t always feel the most comforting.
But when I let my soul settle, and sit with the truth that I am seen, inviting the Lord into my pain, I am both sobered and deeply comforted.
I am sobered and comforted because I am seen. Even in my own soul, I am seen.
I am seen whether I privately choose bitterness and resentment or meanness.
I am seen whether I privately choose grace and kindness and forgiveness.
I am seen when I am in pain and grieving and hurt.
I am seen when I am celebrating and glad.
I am seen when there are wrongs not yet made right.
I am seen when there are wrongs made right.
I am seen when I am upset and weeping.
I am seen when I am overcome with gratitude.
I am seen when I sin.
I am seen when I am sinned against.
Psalm 64 speaks of people who wonder, “who can see them?” as they go about their selfish, violent ways. They are said to actually look for injustice. As I look at the news from our country and our world, it is not hard to see these kinds of people and be deeply grieved for the havoc they wreck. Yet, this psalm also speaks of the God who sees. He is a God who brings about justice, a God who offers refuge to his people, a God who doesn’t let evil win the day, a God who sees.
The kindness is seen.
The injustice is seen.
The goodness is seen.
The violence and murder is seen.
The generosity is seen.
The greed and theft are seen.
The grace is seen.
The brokenness is seen.
The steps towards redemption are seen.
The poverty is seen.
The giving is seen.
The hunger and thirst are seen.
The cup of water and food given freely are seen.
The desperation is seen.
The truth is seen.
The terror and unspeakable horrors are seen.
The forgiveness is seen.
Even now, my soul longs for soon. But there is no timeline for when a prayer gets answered or suffering ends or the pain is healed. I’m reminded of this as I read Hagar’s story in Genesis 16. She’s mistreated and suffers horribly. And even as she encounters the Lord, she is sent back to the very place where she was wronged. Yet, this woman boldly declares that she is seen by the Lord. She knows she is seen and that because she is seen, she is confident that the Lord looks after her.
Today, I don’t have answers. I don’t have a neat and tidy package to hand to anyone else, let alone myself. I sometimes wish I did, especially when I’m hurting and our world is hurting.
But I know this to be true. He is the God who sees.
He sees her. He sees him. He sees them. He sees you. He sees me.
He sees the Hard and awful, the suffering and the pain.
He sees the good and true, the beauty and redemption.
May we be both sobered and deeply comforted by this truth. He does see.
May we live out of the truth that we are seen.
The story isn’t over. I serve the God who sees me.