Does He now? Yes…
Thoughts which drag me to Jesus, and to the cross…
13 The slave girl gave a name to the LORD who spoke to her: “You are ‘God who sees me,’ ” because she said to herself, “Have I really seen God who sees me?” Genesis 16:13 NCV
But this supportive community abandons him just when he has most need of it—where his work ends and he is on his own. In reality, the isolation of death and suffering reveals only what has already been true of his whole life. Where dying has no meaning, life itself becomes insecure. Where suffering finds no answer, the individual finds himself alone just when his questioning actually begins.
It is a sacrifice of thanksgiving and a service most pleasing to God if you acknowledge and proclaim His acts of kindness and call Him רֳאִי, He who sees me, as if you were saying: “I thought I had been completely forsaken by God. But now I see that He had regard for me and did not cast me aside when I was in trouble.”
This is a most beautiful name for God. Would that we all could bestow it on Him, that is, conclude with certainty that He has regard for us and cares for us, especially when He seems to have forgotten us, when we think we have been forsaken by Him. For he who can say in affliction: “God sees me” has true faith and can do and bear everything, yes, he overcomes all things and is triumphant.
Though Pope Benedict’s words were about death, I think that any major transistion we go through in life leaves us as alone as he describes about the one who is dying. I witness this in divorce situations, especially in the lives of children. I have seen it in the business world, as someone is terminated or promoted and they are as abandoned and left alone. Those dealing with illness and dying, or memory failure encounter this as well.
It is frustrating, and it adds significantly to the pain encountered. Indeed, I would rather have the pain than the isolation that occurs. Let me be honest, I am the source of at least some of that isolation, fearing it, but also fearing the lack of ability to engage with people.
I’ve known the same feelings I hear, that those I turned to for community- they don’t seem to be there. They too are going through there own transition and grief, and if anything – we need each other more in those moments.
There are times, where befoe we can engage with others, we must encounter the presence that means the most – we must encounter God. We need the experience of finding ourselves in the wilderness, and coming to the conclusion that God still sees us, He still cares, He hasn’t abandoned us. HE will not… HE CANNOT…
And knowing that allows for one to depend on HIs strength, rather than our weakness. It allows us to see HIs victory, which not only is a victory to win us, but a victory He shares with us! Assured of that, one can reach out through the transition, finding the hope we have encountered is the hope others need as well–the hope that was an si to be found in community.
We all go through many transitions – we all find ourselves in Hagar’s spot…sometimes frequently. And there, if we slow down, we find that our refuge, our sanctuary has a lot of room for those we have shared that refuge with before.. and others that come to realize they need it, and are part of our home.
A home where God just doesn’t see me, where He sees us.
Joseph Ratzinger, Co-Workers of the Truth: Meditations for Every Day of the Year, ed. Irene Grassl, trans. Mary Frances McCarthy and Lothar Krauth (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1992), 354.
Martin Luther, Luther’s Works, Vol. 3: Lectures on Genesis: Chapters 15-20, ed. Jaroslav Jan Pelikan, Hilton C. Oswald, and Helmut T. Lehmann, vol. 3 (Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1999), 70.