This last week has been pretty miserable. Like anyone in crisis, I feel like most of what I do is wait. Wait for an answer, wait for help, wait for things to get better…and…nothing.
Well, not nothing, but struggle can feel like a void of unchanging hopelessness. I know some of you have been there. I also know that some of you are standing on the other side. Some of you have shared your stories with me, of God working, of moving from hopeless to hopeful, of trust in God and Jesus’s time, healing the deep places of your heart. Our stories keep one another going on this journey, bringing the truth of light at the end of a tunnel and the reality of the other side.
Here, the middle of hopelessness, we meet Hagar. She seems like a pawn in someone else’s game. She is sent away with a skin of water and a loaf of bread. She sits away from the bush, unwilling to watch her son die. Here is hopelessness at its best.
But El Roi answers.
“The God who sees…”
He sees her pain. He sees her struggle. He sees her hunger. He sees her aching heart. I need to know that. I need to know that God sees me.
And so He shows me.
I had a friend cry with me yesterday. Cry. Audibly.
I have rarely felt so loved.
I had a friend tell me that he finally understood what Paul meant when he said he was suffering for another person. He felt my pain, our pain, as his own.
My sisters have told me countless times that they would lift my burden if there was any possible way they could.
I am not just given a loaf of bread and a skin of water, but meals come, food is served, and sometimes I don’t even know where it came from.
There are prayers said, sometimes in the wee hours of night, on our behalf.
This is one reason why God created the Church. This is the visible Church lifting up our arms, when we ourselves can not. This is the visible Church, wrapping their arms around me and letting me cry. This is the visible Church seeing through the compassionate lens of a Savior who came to redeem our crisises and heal our broken hearts.
This is a God who sees me, through you.
He sees each of us. It is His name. And He can not deny who He is. Whatever our pain, whatever our joy, whatever our struggle.
El Roi…He sees me. He sees my husband, my kids, my people. He sees, and that is my Hope each day.