To Be Seen


Megan Smillie // Tales From the Trenches

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January 29  

It’s a gorgeous spring afternoon. I arrive at the field early for once. Volunteering to drive half of the softball team to its game necessitates that. Setting up my chair in the sun, I settle in to wait for the start of play, basking in the warmth.

There are other mamas there—a few on the bleachers, a few more chatting by the playground as they keep a watchful eye on their kids. From my vantage point, I can see and enjoy the laughter of the children and appreciate the conversation flowing between their guardians, but today, I am content to just sit and be. Happily, I close my eyes and soak up the peace and the joy. It truly is a beautiful afternoon. 

There are other times where I do long for company, for companionship—to hear from a friend, to know that they are thinking of me, to feel sought after. To be seen. When I suffered my first miscarriage—a heart-wrenching, awful period of time when my precious baby’s soul had left this world, but her body was still secure in mine—I was, in every sense of the word, a walking tomb. A precious friend came to see me, and when I met her expression of sorrow with a vague, “It’s alright . . .” she burst out with “No, It’s NOT!” and hugged me fiercely. She continued to hold me as I sobbed into her shoulder. I had been truly seen by her. And I will never forget that. 

We need to see others. As an introvert by nature, it is often so difficult, if not overwhelming, for me to do this! Truly, there are times when I can barely see to the end of the next hour, let alone notice the struggles of those around me. But I can smile. And I can look people in the eye when I walk by them. I can offer my place in line when the person behind me is struggling to hold all of their items. I can rouse myself to a friendly exchange with the cashier. At work, I can notice a student who appears to be struggling, or a colleague who needs a sympathetic ear. Yes, I can do those little things. I can allow others to be seen by me. It is a blessing to do so. The exchange is pure joy, and my soul feels lighter for it. 

God, of course, truly sees us. He shows us continually how precious and loved we are. Sometimes, he simply surrounds us with peace, and sometimes, he hits us over the head with it, but other times, we need to search for it. And oftentimes? He asks us to be that form of love and light to others, so that those we encounter can experience the love of Christ through us. This is our mission as beloved children of God—to show others what it feels like to be seen as Christ sees us.

 

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