Today I am JoJo.
Today I am with Crosby, a.k.a. The Blueberry.
The Blueberry is eleven months old and everything is about "seeing" him. He scoots around the corner and his face lights up when his eyes meets mine. We play peek-a-boo with blankets, hats, bibs, even Monkey. He crawls under tables, between chair legs and behind curtains, peering up with his big baby blues as if to ask, "JoJo, do you still see me?".
If you think about it, it's a fairly sophisticated question. He is asking if I can see him in all these different places and even when he is covered up. A child plays peek-a-boo to discover that he doesn't disappear when he is hiding. He can be seen even when he cannot see. Aha!
When I am feeding him a bottle or reading book after book after book, he suddenly turns and looks up at me as if to check if I am still there or perhaps to inquire, "Do you still see me when I don't see you?". He grins wide and content around the bottle, table, book or blanket. I always say to him, "I see you, Crosby!".
Isn't this what we want to hear from God? That he sees us, really sees us? That He hasn't lost sight of us, that He sees our struggles, our heartache and our dreams. We are looking for reassurance that we have not been forgotten, that we matter, that we can be forgiven, that He sees us no matter where we wander. If your heart is like mine, it can be vulnerable to counting on only what I can see. It can look as though the world is passing me by, maybe I've been overlooked or perhaps God has forgotten to see me.
I could take a lesson from The Blueberry.
Once when we locked blue eyes, I saw that "of course" look as if he fully expected me to be there. He did. He wasn't wandering all over the house searching for me. He was was just doing his eleven-month-old thing and wanted me nearby and noticing. And I suddenly thought, this is how I want to be with God. Always expecting Him around the next corner, my heart ready, looking for His face, but delightedly expectantly surprised all the same. I want to catch the light in His eye looking squarely at me.
My prayers are always around asking Him to lead the way, to go before me, to give me bravery, to be near me and whisper in my ear. What I am really asking is, "God, do you see me? Do you see me down here in my small life?".
My friends, the answer is a resounding Y-E-S!
How do we know God sees us? Let us count the ways!
The sky and the earth declare it.
I like to say He paints the sky every morning and again every night. But I know His light and His hand are always there even in the fog and even in the starless dark. I tend to forget. I try to remember. I need you to remind me. In His grace, He reminds us all. He has told us earth and sky are witness to His glory and presence. I have heard nature is one of God's children too and it seems so. As we are a people, yet each with a voice and a name, so are the stars.
He counts the number of the stars; He calls them all by name.
It is God's true nature to name us in love and count us as valuable and meaningful along with the whole universe. He sees each of us!
He sees small and forgotten things.
I pick up pennies whenever I find them, under the sofa cushion, on the sidewalk, on the wet pavement even when I am on a run. Why in the world? Some would say because I'm a thrifty McGee and that might be part of it. But the deeper reason is to remind myself that God sees small and forgotten things.
Are not five sparrows sold for two copper coins? And not one of them is forgotten before God. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.
Remember this when you feel small and forgotten, when you are busy being a mama and no one seems to see, when you are passed over and feel invisible. The honest to God truth is, God sees you and cares for you. He is a God who doesn't pass you over. He chose you.
He saw us first and long ago.
I read and re-read Psalm 139. It never gets old. If I were on a deserted aisle and could only have one spice it would be salt, one sliver of Scripture, it might be Psalm 139.
It is packed with vitamins and minerals and mind blowing love and care. In this poem, David tells me of how long ago I was thought of and seen, really seen. Before time, before I lived a day, before I drew my first breath, before I sparked in the womb, before I was shaped by His hand, before I was in His heart; God always saw me. He knows what I was made of, my thoughts as they form, my words before I taste them on my tongue, where I will go, and where I will live. It was His hand that fashioned me. He knows me.
He knows me inside and out, all my gifts and mistakes and quirks. He spends a million of His thoughts on me. And you too.
How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!
How great is the sum of them!
If I should count them, they would be more in number that the sand;
when I awake, I am still with You.
Psalm 139: 17-18
He came to see us and be seen.
Of all the ways God says to me, "I see you", Christ in skin and bone is the most drastic display of His seeing us. God came near, right up close and with His short and ordinary life shouted, "I SEE YOU!".
And I do mean ordinary. Jesus was walking around on backroads with dusty feet eating fish from the ocean and living an ordinary life. He grew up part of a small town family in a quaint seaside town learning the carpenter trade from his father and taking knocks from his brothers like any other boy. He lived a plain life. Those who knew Him didn't think He was anything special. What makes this extraordinary is He did all this as the Son of God.
The angels must have scratched their haloed heads. The earth around the Sea of Galilee must have glowed from space. Surely, there was a tear in the veil coming down as going going back.
In the most ordinary fashion, just as we have done, He joined His life to ours in a hold-your-hand way. He traversed the heavens and the womb and came to us as a baby; a baby boy who once was eleven months old and played peek-a-boo with his mama and someone like JoJo. He came to see us and be seen by us.
Oh my friend, this seeing is a two way street, a give and take, a live and love relationship.
I just wanted to remind you that you are seen. I wanted to stand still in awe alongside you, to witness the Living God sees ____________ (fill in your name here).
As if that weren't enough, we can also see Him. He is see-able. He has made Himself so. We can say along with Haggar,
“You are the God who sees me. I have now seen the One who sees me.”
We all need to know we are seen well beyond the peek-a-boo stage. In my experience, that is one of the things true love is all about. In the pattern of our heavenly Father, let yourself be seen and tell someone nearby that you see them.
You could look this someone square in the eye and say, "I see you! But there are a million little ways to say it just as squarely and just as loudly depending on the relationship; hold their hand, listen to their story, invite them to dinner, send a gift in the mail, bake a batch of their favorite cookies, leave a small surprise at their doorstep, say thank you or just smile across the counter. Make a point to see both the perfect stranger and your closest family.
My Daddy used to wink at my Mama across the room at parties. That'll do it.