There is an attribute of God that is at once terrifying and comforting. Terrifying when touted by a parent or Sunday school teacher to a misbehaving child, and comforting when we find ourselves alone and broken. That attribute? God sees us. In Genesis chapter 16 of the Bible, a woman named Hagar gave God the name El Roi, “The God Who Sees Me” after she called out to God in great despair and was answered. To me, El Roi is the author of every hope to which I cling.
I agree with Rose DeWitt Bukater that a woman’s heart is a deep ocean of secrets. We feel deeply complex and oft conflicting emotions at once. One careless word from a friend clouds our skies. Feeling misunderstood traps us in a web of loneliness and self-doubt. There are seasons when we can’t even make sense of our own hearts, let alone effectively communicate to our loved ones what it is we need. It is during those times I simply fall to my knees and say, “God, do you see me?” and deep within my soul I can feel the answer, “Yes my fragile daughter, I see you.” And hope returns.
Knowing the “God Who Sees Me” gives me courage. Even if the hurt, or loneliness, or injustice I feel remains unrecognized by those who have inflicted it, I can be at peace knowing El Roi has seen it and I am the apple of God’s eye. I do not need to keep my heart and soul in the fetal position, God sees me. Broken, weeping, and huddled on the floor, God sees me and I can rise and take one courageous step after another. Each step illuminated by another beautiful name of God…
Comforter (John 14:26); Immanuel (Isaiah 7:14); Hope (Titus 2:13); Deliverer (Romans 11:26); Advocate (1 John 2:1); Counselor (Isaiah 9:6); Our Peace (Ephesians 2:14); Truth (John 14:6); Life (John 14:6); I AM (Exodus 3:14/John 8:58)
I have hope because God sees me. I have courage because God sees me. I have peace because God sees me. Because God sees me, I can love freely, give generously, and speak truthfully. God sees me, and will make my path straight.