Have you ever felt hidden and unseen?
Over these many months, now years, of medication failures I have felt the pain of being minimized and unseen. And yet, God has placed such comfort for me in surprising places.
When we walked into the office of my small-town General Physician last week, the nurse was in shock when she saw how weak I had become. Of all the different nurses and Doctors that we have seen this year, she was one of the few who had actually asked, “What happened to you over these past months?” And her genuine concern touched me so deeply.
As I thought about her concern, and her really “seeing” me, the Lord nudged me to re-work an older post from my early weeks of blogging. This post originally titled “God Breath” was posted in February 2016, but a new title of “God-Sight” has slipped into place as I’ve felt His eyes upon us in a way I could not realize before.
The cold winds of winter will be here before we know it! But I think there are still a few more days of autumn to enjoy before we face the kind of snow that covered our porch in February of 2016.
It’s February, knee-deep in the bone chill of winter here in Wisconsin. And I have been thinking about other winters. Other bone chill days.
One year ago our little Blizzard-Boy of a grandson was born in the middle of a Chicago Snowstorm. This Grandma was amazed once again at the beauty of life: suddenly, God-Breath woke this little boy to join our world! But also, this Grandma was embarrassed to be newly diagnosed and bearing the pain of a disease I knew all too little about. Snowed in at the hospital, I was humiliated to ask the nurses for a more comfortable place to sleep because these swollen joints couldn’t handle those hard waiting room chairs. But oh, what bliss! They offered me an extra bed, made available to snow-weary visitors, and their kindness overwhelmed me.
On another bone chill day a few years ago, I rode the train into downtown Chicago. My friends and I stepped out of our comfort zones bearing gifts to pass out to the homeless. We wrapped our arms around shivering ones and blessed them with our scarves and gloves and bottles of water. But none of us expected to find the kindness of God looking at us through eyes hidden behind a ski mask.
“Robert” was embarrassed to be newly begging and bearing the pain of joblessness. It was his first day out on the streets, but we didn’t know that when we invited him to lunch. We found it all out over the course of several weeks, as he emailed us the details. A Jesus-follower himself, “Robert” was ready to give up on God when we gave him a simple meal, and prayed over him.
The kindness of God moved us to reach out to Robert, and the kindness of God moved Robert to see the hope of Christ restored. He was later reunited with his family and found a job. We who had witnessed his story were touched by the kindness of God more deeply than we ever expected.
Here, in these long days, I want to have eyes that are opened to see the God-Breath moments, chasing away the bone chill winter cold.
“God’s kindness leads you to repentance [that is, to change your inner self, your old way of thinking—seek His purpose for your life]” Romans 2:4 (Amplified Version)
Now these many years later, I realize that what touched my heart in that extra hospital room was the breath of God on me as He saw me, the true me, aching in that new and humiliating place of weakness.
Even one lonely, hidden man, covered by a ski-mask, in the midst of a vast number of homeless street people was known and seen by our breath-giving God.
Because there is no hiding from God.
And isn’t that the true joy? We are not hidden! We are seen by the ONE who has created all of life. The One who breathed into that little newborn during one cold Chicago Blizzard is the same One who is so close to us, that we can feel His breath as He sees our deepest hearts.
But you, God, see the trouble of the afflicted;
you consider their grief and take it in hand.
The victims commit themselves to you;
you are the helper of the fatherless. Psalm 10:14 NIV
Thank You for always seeing us, in every place we find ourselves. Thank You for being so near that Your very breath gives us life. Lord, we confess that the grief and the pain sometimes overwhelm us, and we feel alone and unseen. Help us to know that You are here to take all of our burdens in Your strong hands. Help us to trust in Your all-knowing gaze upon us. We love You our gracious and merciful Father.
In the name of Your son, Jesus, we pray,
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