By Melissa McLaughlin
The billboard slogan contained only two words: “Be Seen.” What were they advertising? A medical practice. Brilliant! They sold me! When calling for an appointment, it can be days, weeks or months before I can be seen by a doctor. I realize that medical offices are often understaffed and overworked, so this situation is beyond their control. But this reality prompted a very effective ad campaign. “Be Seen.”
We have a deep need to “Be Seen”. When someone cares enough to stop what they are doing to watch us, meet with us, listen to us, spend time with us, we know that we matter to them. There is a real soul-rest in this.
One of my great joys as a parent has been watching my kids. My husband and I watched them take swim lessons and sing in the children’s choir at church. We watched our girls perform in gymnastics expositions. We watched our son earn belts in karate and shouted for him at the track and wrestling matches. We cheered as they all performed in various band concerts, marching band competitions, played basketball and rugby. We were deeply blessed to see each of our kids play their musical instruments at church during worship services. What a simple but deep joy to watch the ones you love.
It always stirred my heart as a mom when my kids looked for me in the crowd. Though there were many students performing or playing, there were three kids who mattered most to me. As if a giant movie camera filming a big scene zoomed in on the main characters, my eyes were glued on them. My kids were the main characters in my show.
Likewise, each one of us is uniquely special to God. A parent’s love is only a glimpse of God’s great love for us. He created every one of us. We were each made in His image and we are precious in His sight. Though there are billions of people living on this earth, because He is God, He can zoom in on us, one by one. He is watching. He is cheering. He is longing for us to be known by Him and know that we are seen and loved by Him.
How can we know that we are seen by God? Here are two ways.
1.We can see that God is indeed watching when we read through God’s history with humankind, as recorded in the Bible.
One memorable example is the story of Hagar in Genesis 16. Hagar, was an Egyptian slave to Sarai, the wife of Abram, who was cast away by Sarai out of jealousy. Alone in the desert, God sent an angel of the Lord to speak to her. Hagar’s profound response is recorded here in Genesis 16:13 – She gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.” God heard Hagar’s cry and sent a messenger to let her know she was not alone. “The God who sees me”. A heartfelt label of love.
This is just one of myriad people who cried out to the Lord and received a special touch from the Living God. These testimonies of God’s hand at work in people’s lives remind us of God’s attentive love and unfailing care for His people. It is important to note that God does not always remove the difficulties, but does provide a sense of His presence with us.
2.We can also see that God is watching by recalling God’s history in our own lives.
One of my first memories of answered prayer was as a young child, around age 6 or 7. Somehow, I became aware of the 10 Commandments and in my child’s heart knew that I wanted to please God and live according to His ways. But I didn’t know the 10 Commandments. Why didn’t I ask my parents? I have no idea.
In the secret places of my child’s heart I prayed and asked God to teach me or show me the 10 Commandments, so I could follow Him. That very next Sunday, in my Sunday School class, the teacher gave each of us a card stock paper foldout resembling two stone tablets. When laid open it was about the size of my two small hands. What was written in the paper foldout? The 10 Commandments.
I gently gathered up this little gift from God and held it close to my heart. The Living God saw me. He heard my small prayer and answered my heart’s desire to know and please Him.
Even now it brings tears to my eyes as I write this. Though insignificant to other people, the memory of this quietly answered prayer from childhood, known only to me, remains a precious treasure in my heart’s keepsake box. God saw me. God heard me. God cared about me and cared to meet my deepest need, to know and love Him.
Do you have Biblical examples of God watching over His people that move your heart?
Do you have answered prayers that linger long in your memory, reminding you of God watching over you?
May we remember that we are seen and loved by the God who gave us life and then through His Son, Jesus, gave us the gift of eternal life. He is the God who sees not only what is happening outwardly, He also looks upon our heart. We are seen and known by God in ways that no one else ever could or ever will.
With God, the Great Physician, we can “Be Seen” for more than just medical care. We “Are Seen” by the One who offers us true healing, soul healing, eternal healing. Best of all? No appointment needed. God is always zoomed in, watching and waiting for us to come to Him.
Psalm 32:8 – I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.
Proverbs 15:3 – The eyes of the Lord are everywhere, keeping watch on the wicked and the good.
2 Chronicles 16:9a – For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him.
“The God Who Sees” is a short musical film (12 minutes) with a powerful message by Kathie Lee Gifford and Nicole C. Mullen. I invite you to pause and enjoy this video as you reflect on the God who sees you.