Can you See me.
If you’ve never been a on a safari, let me give you a quick rundown. You enter a gate that has a fence going as far as the eye can see in both directions, soak it up because this will be the last time you see said fence. You then commence your search to the endless horizon for wildlife…is there a guarantee that you will see any? Nope. Cue The Lion King soundtrack. Let’s go find Simba.
There is a breathtaking vastness to the wild. An incredible juxtaposition of life and death hangs in the air as you drive further into the wilderness: a glorious tension of survival and sacrifice. Am I getting too “Circle of Life”? Hold on let me turn down Sir Elton.
My guess is that you don’t need a safari to comprehend this tension in the wilderness. You know, or have known, what it is to wander, to forage, to hope, to despair over your survival. You know what is to physically ache over needing someone to see you, to find you at the place of your pain.
My girl Hagar, from Genesis 16, knows this place better than anyone. Forced to sleep with her boss’ husband (by her boss I might add), Hagar found herself pregnant, resented and abused to such an extent that she fled to the actual wilderness. [How great does your boss sound right now?]
Have you ever been so desperate to escape that the safest place you could think of is the desert?
Ugh I can taste her desperation.
And that’s exactly where the Lord met her.
“An angel of the Lord found Hagar near a spring in the desert…And he said, ‘Hagar servant of Sarai, where have you come from and where are you going?’” Genesis 16:7-8a
I love this. An angel finds her in the desert knowing exactly who she is and whom she works for and asks her, “whatcha doing?”
You know what I think? I think he wanted to see if she would be honest about her wilderness.
It is a hard truth to say that you were the one that put yourself in the wilderness.
We need to be women that admit where we are and how we got there.
So here comes her answer, and do you know how I know she was desperate beyond all reason? She answered the angel with only 7 words. No back story, no explanation, no sob story…the simple truth.
“I’m running away from my mistress Sarai.” (v. 8b)
That’s wilderness y’all. The honesty of this moment astounds me.
And then the Lord spoke.
After He spoke there was no response to His instructions, His prophesy or His promise…all she could do was name the One that spoke to her.
“She gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her.” (v.13)
El Roi, “The One who sees me.”
Oh the sweet relief of being SEEN! Whatever it was going to take, whatever it required to get out of that wilderness was a moot point…He saw her.
Did you know that Hagar is the only woman in the Bible credited with giving the Lord a name? I love this for about a million reasons, but the main one is that it reveals just how much the Lord knows there is a deep need for us as women to be seen. He made us that way! He’s not going to leave that need unfulfilled.
Every so often the Lord gives me a letter, not a singular letter like on Sesame Street, an old fashioned pen to paper letter from one to another. It just so happens He has given me a letter for you. My prayer is that you relinquish any judgment that this is cheesy and instead you let His still small voice whisper to your heart the truth of who He is and whose you are.
Beloved, this is my word to my girls. [That’s for me, the rest is for you.]
I see you dear one. There is never a moment that my eye is not on you. Have you not known this? Have you not believed it? Know! Believe! And rest in the fact that I see you.
I see your hurt. I see your joy. I see the things that you see. I see when they don’t see you. I see when he doesn’t see you. You are mine! It is my delight to have my eye on you!
I have seen all of you and I love you still just the same.
I love you and I like you. My fondness for you knows no bounds.
Fall into my gaze. It is gentle and kind. I don’t look you up and down and then make my mind up about you. I see you before you see me.
Bring me your wilderness. Bring me your tears. My love can take the ugly cry, for it is beautiful to me. Bring me the runny mascara, the splotchy cheeks, even the snot. I designed it so. Not a single tear falls from your eye without my Spirit catching it. Did you know that? Did you know that my Spirit collects every single tear for a Holy and glorious purpose.
I see you crying out in the wilderness, I am here. Lean on me.
You will never carry more than you can bear. My yoke is easy and my burden is light. Look up little one, see the love of my Son…your help is coming from the hills! Arise! Rejoice! For you have seen the One who SEES YOU!
All of my love,
The place where The Lord met Hagar is called Beer Lahai Roi and it is still there to this day. Beer Lahai Roi means “well of the Living One who sees me”. Drink freely from the well, for He sees you.