He sees me.

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As tears filled my eyes on the way to counseling last Thursday, I captured this photo.  I sent it to a friend and said, “He sees.  He weeps. He knows.”   I later sent the picture to her in an Instagram message with this verse:  Psalm 32:8  “I will instruct you and teach you in the way that you should go.  I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.”

This morning I was reading the OWNit365 One Story reading plan in Genesis 16 about Hagar,  the slave of Sarai. Here’s a brief summary:  Sarai had her husband sleep with Hagar so they could have a child.  Once Hagar became pregnant she started to despise Sarai.  Sarai started to mistreat Hagar and so Hagar left.   The angel of the Lord finds her, and calls her by name, and asks her where she is going.  She tells him she is running away.  The angel of the Lord tells her to go back and submit.  He told her she would have many descendants and to name her baby boy Ishmael (which means God Hears) because the Lord had heard of her misery.

He heard her.  Maybe she cried out to Him.  Maybe she just cried.  Maybe she had prayed over and over for relief and for help.  Maybe she screamed.  However she expressed her misery, He heard it, and He saw her.

Then in verse 13 and I read her response:

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.”

He sees me.

He knows.

I matter.

Hagar, who was a slave.  Hagar, who was pregnant by Abram – Sarai’s husband.  Hagar, who was mistreated.  Hagar, who ran away to escape.

The angel of the Lord pursued Hagar and found her.  The angel of the Lord called her by her name.

He sees.  He hears.  He knows.  He is always aware.

The name she gave her Lord that day is the God who sees me.  

El Roi – The God Who Sees

I thought about that verse all day.   Then, at dinner tonight, my son said, “We had an interesting discussion about Abraham today at school.”  Part of the discussion was about Abraham having two wives, and then I chimed in and told them the part about El Roi – The God who sees!   We can be sure God sees and that He is with us.  I made sure to clarify that He sees everything – not just like Santa when you are naughty or nice…but when you are hurting, lonely or sad.  He knows.  He sees.   We are never alone.  El Roi – The God Who Sees.  What a comfort!

Psalm 56:8 (MSG) 

You’ve kept track of my every toss and turn through the sleepless nights,

Each tear entered in your ledger,

each ache written in your book.

Three Words

Dear Lady in the grocery store parking lot,

I knew the minute you said these three words:  “I’m sorry, but….” I needed to brace myself.

I was just steps from my car when you approached me to say “I am sorry but it is freezing out here!” and then you looked at my youngest sitting in the cart and asked him, “Are you cold?” and  “where is your jacket?”  and then you looked down and noticed he didn’t have on shoes.  Or Socks.

I think at the time all I could muster was “It was that or no breakfast – we are out of milk.”

I held my head low as I returned the grocery cart and gathered my child in my arms and made a dash of shame to the car.   Three words came to mind.  “I’m that Mom!”

I sat thinking what does that mean as I waited in the drive-thru for our food.  My kids were asking who was that lady?  Why did she talk to us?  My brain was firing with thoughts as we pulled in the driveway and my daughter put her hand on mine and said, “Mom, what’s wrong?  Did that lady hurt your feelings?”  I said, yes – she made me feel like a bad mom.  My daughter said “No, you are not a bad mom!  You are the best mom ever – even when you get mad its only for a few minutes!”  With one eyebrow up I look back at the shoeless, sockless, coatless, grinning kid who started all this and he just smiled and said “Mom, you are the best cooker ever!”  just as I grabbed the bag from Taco Bell to carry inside.

Then as we sat down to eat our dinner I thought, I wish I could have said more to her.  I wish I had the words right there in the parking lot.  At the time, I really didn’t even have the thoughts.

I wanted to tell her….

I woke up this morning to teach Zumba.

Then my family met me to decorate my 4 year olds classroom with Christmas lights to help out his teacher.  This is how we ended up with two cars – (this is important!)

After decorating, we drove to the Rescue Mission to drop off canned food that the Zumba Ladies collected at our recent Turkey Burn after Thanksgiving.

Then, we left my car at the school and drove 1 hour each way to my Mom’s house because today is her birthday and the kids helped her decorate her tree.

Then, we went to visit my grandmother who just got out of the hospital.  We only stayed briefly but I knew she would want to see her great-grandchildren.

Finally we arrived back at my car and it was there that my two youngest children decided they wanted to ride with me.  It was there that my youngest boy jumped in my car without a coat, without socks, and without shoes.

It was behind that steering wheel that I realized my gas light has been on for a while now and I should stop and get gas.  It was while pumping gas that the lights to the grocery store reminded me that we were out of milk.  It was while running in to grab the milk that I saw the bell and thought we could make a quick run for the border and finally head home.

You see, the plan was to head straight home.  But, I didn’t.  Then I heard these three words

I’m sorry!, but…..

and ….    then I thought these three words.

I’m that Mom.

I don’t think you meant any harm, and I am not upset.  It just made me a little sad.

And then, I walked in and found a present on my front porch from a friend and my heart warmed.

Then we all enjoyed warm chocolate chip cookies

all of us together, warm – watching a movie…

and finally we celebrate day 7 of “The Greatest Gift” by Ann Voskamp and we reflect on how God provides.

Three Words…. God Always Sees.

This morning I retweeted Pastor Jim Cymbala, “Folks all around us are fighting battles no one knows about.  God’s looking for someone who is selfless enough to say, whom can I help today?”

You see, “I’m Sorry, BUT…. I’m THAT Mom….the one who is walking around fighting battles no one knows about….  and, maybe just, maybe …. you are too.  God Always Sees….. even when we miss it.

Psalm 33:13-15  (NIV) From Heaven the Lord looks down and sees all mankind; from his dwelling place he watches all who live on earth – he who forms the hearts of all, who considers everything they do.  

Open my eyes

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Last Sunday, in our ladies Sunday School class just as we were in the middle of praying my eyes popped wide open and just as  they did our leader prayed, “Lord, open our eyes…to your word.  Help us to see.”

The lesson was on Goliath – the story we all heard as children about the little boy named David, who put one little stone into the sling and the sling went round and round.  You can find the story in 1 Samuel 17 – and what struck me was verse 16 “For forty days the Philistine came forward every morning and evening and took his stand.”   Back in verse 11 we read they were terrified and dismayed by Goliath.  Yet, he came and took his stand every morning and night for 40 days. 

It made me wonder if this terror in their life became as much of  a reality as the sunrise and the sunset.  He’s here again, and he’s taunting us and we are hopeless.   This was their prison, their hopeless cell.  Their chains.  Unable to defeat and conquer this giant in their life.  This giant Goliath – kept showing up over and over.  They could depend on the terror.  The terror and dismay continued until it became their normal.

Until little David shows up and in verse 26 he asks, “What will be done for the man who kills this Philistine and removes this disgrace from Israel? Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?”  He sees Goliath as a disgrace, and he wants to take him down.

One little boy named David had seen the Lord work in His life.

One little boy knew His God was powerful and would protect him.

One little boy knew disgrace when he saw it.

Those in the camp who were terrified – did they encourage him and thank him?  No!  His own brother doubted his ability and his motives – even going so far to call him wicked and conceited.  When David assured Saul that the same God who rescued him from the paw of the lion and the bear would rescue him from the Philistine – Saul said, “Go, and the Lord be with you.” (vs 37)

As David approached Goliath, he said, “I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, whom you have defied.   This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands…the whole world will know there is a God in Israel…for the battle is the Lord’s.”

These men, who for forty days had been waiting in fear for Goliath to show up day and night witnessed God protect a little boy who had the faith to face this giant with a stone.  I wonder what that did for them when they found themselves facing another giant?  I wonder if it caused them to lean completely on God and face their own personal giants?

Do you have a Goliath in your life?  Is Goliath a permanent part of your existence – always around and constantly intimidating and harassing you?  With Goliath around, fear is your constant companion.   But there is ONE who can take down your giant with one little stone.  Do you know Him?  His name is Almighty!  Think and reflect on the story of David and Goliath and ask God to open your eyes.  What do you see?