Do you see me?
Joanie saw the reflection of an old friend standing behind her as she was checking herself out in the window of a downtown Chicago building. For a split second, Joanie’s stood motionless, concerned that she’d be found out, but it didn’t take long for her heartbeat to return to normal. She was homeless, invisible to the world, even to this this seasoned social worker, a friend of her mom’s. As she slowly exhaled, a tiny smile crept on her face. It felt good to recognize someone from her past, to give credence to the life she once had, to validate her very existence. Unnatural Love
Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? Matthew 6:26
It’s important for us to been seen, to be heard, for our existence to be validated. God knows that, he created us that way. I think back to times in my own life where I felt I was invisible, a forgotten fixture in the room. After graduating, I’d returned to my high school to visit a friend. In order to get out of class, she was going to tell her teacher that a cousin from out west had come to visit. When we approached the teacher, actually my teachers from six months previous, he was very polite but aloof when I was “introduced”. He hadn’t recognized me. It’s disheartening - depressing. But when I look at creation around me, the squirrels scurrying around, gathering food for the winter, the birds hopping in the yard finding today’s worm or gleaning fruit from this years harvest, I remember Matthew 6:26 and know that I am loved... even more than these.
I’m reminded, as I go about my day, to take time and see the people around me the way God does: a cherished treasure, loved and valued, with a purpose in his plan. Remember, God uses you even when you don’t plan on it, like the woman in the reflection of the window. I can only imagine how much more impactful I would be if I simply took a second to “see” people, smile back and validate their humanity. Better yet, if I spend a moment to get to know them, and share how much Jesus loves them.
I think I’m going to take a walk, and ”see” the world around me.