On Tuesday, Shereen shared a video by Nicole Johnson who talked about being an Invisible Woman. I’m sure that title struck a chord with many of us. (If you weren’t there to see the video, take a minute and view it here.)
As Nicole talked, I was reminded of one of the names given to God in the Old Testament—El Roi: the God who Sees Me. Maybe you’re familiar with the story of Hagar. If not, you’ll find it in Genesis 16. As you may know, God had cut a covenant with Abram, promising him an heir—not a servant from his household, but a son of his own flesh and blood—and descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky. But Abram’s wife, Sarai, wasn’t seeing it. Not only was her biological clock ticking, and ticking, and ticking . . . it had pretty much stopped altogether.
So, like so many of us do instead of waiting on God’s timing, Sarai took matters into her own hands and offered Abram her slave girl Hagar as a type of surrogate mother—hoping to have a baby through her. But when Hagar did become pregnant, there was no rejoicing in Abram’s house. Instead Hagar hated Sarai and Sarai hated Hagar and, as mistress, abused and mistreated her so badly that Hagar finally ran away.
Talk about being invisible. In that culture Hagar could not have had a lower status. A slave . . . a woman . . . alone . . . abandoned . . . and pregnant by no choice of her own . . . I’m sure she thought no one saw her, no one cared.
And yet God did.
He came and found her in the desert and he called her by name. Can you imagine the impact that had on one so used to feeling invisible? So strong an impact that she gave this God a name of her own—The God Who Sees Me.
He saw her!
And He sees us too.
These words from Psalm 139:13-18 that tell just how much He sees:
For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
How precious to me are your thoughts,God!
How vast is the sum of them!
Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand—
when I awake, I am still with you.
As Shereen reminded us on Tuesday, unlike the master craftsmen of Europe’s great cathedrals whose skill has been lost, He never stops creating beauty in hidden places. And the beauty He creates in us—our perseverance, our faith, our hope—speaks of His character to a world that desperately needs a Savior.