I’m blind as a bat without my glasses. They’re the first thing I put on when waking in the morning, and the last thing I take off before retiring at night. Without them I can’t distinguish anything well. I can’t see others unless they are inches from my face.
As bad as it would be if I didn’t have my glasses, it would be even worse if you were not seen by anyone. I believe that one of the great tragedies of modern Western civilization is that we can live among so many other people, yet not be seen by so many of them. The loneliness of not being seen is a terrible situation.
The ancient woman, Hagar, certainly felt that way. She felt an even worse circumstance: Hagar neither believed that anyone saw her and cared, nor that God saw her at all. It was as if God lost his glasses somewhere.
In a convoluted series of decisions, mostly outside of her control, Hagar became pregnant with Abraham’s son. Then, Sarah, Abraham’s “real” wife got pregnant with another son. It got complicated. Dysfunction was all around, leaving Hagar and her young son out in the wilderness all by themselves with no one to help. Hagar simply expected the two of them to die.
You can feel Hagar’s despair and desperation. She saw no hope, and nobody saw her… but there was someone watching: God. He saw everything that happened to her – all the craziness, and all the mistreatment – and he stepped-in and acted on behalf of Hagar and her son.
As a result, Hagar began to call God, “The God Who Sees Me.” She never again had to wonder or doubt whether she was seen.
You might feel today that God doesn’t see your pain, is aloof and distant from your hurt, and is blind to your deep wounds. But he sees. He sees it all, everything. God may not be working on the same timetable as you and me, but nevertheless he sees you. You never have to wonder about it.
God of Hagar, just as you saw her in the desert and the desperate position she was in, so I ask that would see me and act according to your great mercy; through Jesus Christ, my Savior, with the Holy Spirit. Amen.