by Sue Duby, photos below by Sue Duby
As I glimpsed from the kitchen, my eye caught Chuck in his favorite contemplative pose. . . arms resting on the window ledge in the bedroom, gazing out into the backyard, taking some moments of quiet to be still.
That pose delights me as well in the Summer. Lush greens, my colorful cutting garden corner, loaded hydrangea trees. But now? My favorite Fall red and orange leaves have mostly faded and blown away. The garden sports brown twigs and perennial plant stubs ready to be hidden by piles of mulch until Spring. Even so, I decided to join Chuck for a moment and just look.
Suddenly, as if my vision clicked to a new channel, I saw it; our four rose bushes, leafless, bare and pruned, ready for Winter. But, on each, a few large blooms and new buds ready to unfold. Deep color. Still fragrant. In late November? After two freezes? And then, I smiled. Flowers, just for me? As if God whispered, “I know how you love your garden. I’m here”. I felt seen by Him. Those crazy blooms just won’t quit… like His pursuit of and presence with me.
Since that moment, I’ve been pondering. How is it that God, with all of humanity to keep track of, that He chooses to “see” me. Much likes Hagar’s flight to the wilderness in Genesis, angry at being harshly treated by her master Sarai. In the midst of great despair, an Angel meets her with instruction (return to your mistress and submit) and a promise (descendants and a son). Her immediate response? A declaration of wonder..
“Then she called the name of the Lord who spoke to her, “You are God Who Sees”; for she said, “Have I not even here [in the wilderness] remained alive after seeing Him [who sees me with understanding and compassion]?” (Genesis 16:13 Amplified).
Whether the appearance of an angel who speaks or blooms on a fading rose bush, God has such creative ways (all personal to us) to remind us that He is near and truly “sees” us.
He doesn’t just “see” me by knowing my location. He “sees” me in the deepest sense of knowing my frame, my thoughts, my desires, my failures, my worries. . . all that I am!
Not only that (and that’s really enough), but He is “mindful” of me. His mind is full of thoughts about me. Such truth was a mystery to David in Psalm 8. . . and is a mystery to me as well!
When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, 4 what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them? 5 You have made them a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and honor (Psalm 8:3-5, NIV).
I’m longing to be “dialed in” closer to those moments during my day, when God gives a reminder that He sees me. Often in the simplest of moments, but requiring a pause to ask myself, “What do I see right now?”. In realizing He dropped multiple creative ideas for Christmas gifts in my frenzied mind yesterday. In balancing the checkbook and seeing provision. On a morning walk, crossing paths with a new neighbor who invited us a garden tour. In seeing along the way, I’m reminded of His mindfulness of me. How He knows what brings me joy and peace.
While grateful for His affection and care for me, I know it’s coupled with a challenge from His heart. While resting in being seen myself, who is it that He’s asking me to “see” and be “mindful” of? The cart sanitizer at the Walmart entrance? The grocery shelf stocker? The clerk handing me a receipt? The neighbor whose lights have been dim for a few days? The computer tech on the phone, sorting my glitches with broken English? A friend who pops in my mind with a nudge to send a text, “Thinking of you today!”?
Lord, remind me to take a deep breath and pause to consider the gift that you truly SEE me and are MINDFUL of me, right now, where I am. And tune my eyes to see those around me that long to be seen and encouraged by Your eye upon them.