THE ONE WHO SEES ME
Thereafter, Hagar used another name to refer to the Lord, who had spoken to her.
She said, "You are the God who sees me."
She also said, "Have I truly seen the One who sees me?"
Genesis 16:13 (NLT)
As most of you know, I grew up in a small town in West Virginia. I never dreamed it was possible to pass someone face-to-face without making eye contact and saying "Hi there! How are you doing?" Guys, I have been known to strike up a conversation with a complete stranger in an elevator!
When I was visiting my daughter, Patricia, while she was in college in New Jersey we went in to New York. It actually shocked me to see someone turn their head away at the moment we passed each other, just when I had my friendliest smile ready.
Maybe that's why I love that Hagar called God "the One who sees me." Many Bible scholars identify the angel of the Lord in this passage as Jesus. Even before He was born on earth, Jesus came down from heaven to tell a servant girl, "I see you and I care about you."
During His years of earthly ministry, Jesus communicated that same message over and over. "I see you. I know what's going on with you, and I can help." And he tells us the same thing today, "Child, I see you. I know what's going on with you, and I can help."
Nobody likes to feel invisible. We are such a busy society and we move around so much it seems like we don't have time for anyone but ourselves and our immediate families. In addition, studies have found that many people substitute social media for real-life personal interaction. Now, don't get me wrong, I like social media. I like the fact that during this time of social distancing I can Facetime with my family every day. I like that we can have Bible study by the way of Zoom. But guys, that doesn't take the place of spending time with folks in person. It's good for now, but when this is over, please don't let social media take the place of personal, one-on-one interaction.
I firmly believe that a smile and a friendly greeting have the power to ease loneliness. And I also believe that as Christians, we should find comfort in knowing that even when people ignore us, Jesus loves us so much that He never takes his eyes off of us.
Let us pray: Dear Heavenly Father, thank you that even when we feel lonely, you are always with us. Even when others may ignore us, you never will. Amen.