How will we keep seeing in these holy days, days of darkness, when the sun sets far too late and so many faces are in shadow?
Something happened this last week to open my eyes. Life interrupted. Not just the crashing of my hard drive 3 weeks before my next book is due. But an unexpected trip as well, an unexpected sadness. How fragile are our lives.
But in the midst of this, I got to see some invisible people this week. People I usually do not see, people not beautiful or educated or successful. The kind of people we often turn away from. The kind who lose their families, who have forgotten how to live. Some who never have any visitors. My heart was pierced for them. How do we become so divided? How do we stop seeing these ones who are indeed all around us?
Sometimes this happens because we ourselves feel invisible. Miraculously, I was seen as well this week during this time.
I write this for them, for me and for you, because we all fall away. We all fade away. We’ve all been there in some way.
Please Know This:
You are loved.
You matter enormously.
You are important to your family, to your children, to your workplace,
to your school, to your friends.
Even when you feel invisible, that no one sees you, you are seen.
You were seen in your mother’s womb when God spoke every one
of your cells into being.
He blew the breath of life into your newborn lungs and you have grown
into someone uniquely beautiful and real.
Yes, you struggle with sin.
Yes, you run from God.
But God loves you anyway, and we cannot live without you.
The world will not spin right without you.
You are essential to the coming kingdom of God
and the present kingdom of God.
Your place at the table cannot be filled by another.
We will leave the table hungry without you.
We need you.
We love you.
We see you.
Believe the truth of these words for YOU, yourself. Believe them entirely. (And I am working on the same.)
And after that, what shall we do with all this significance and all this love? Let us pass it on. Send it out. Spread it, share it. Let us take whatever is given to us and hand it to the ones around us who are hungry to be seen, touched, known, loved. There are many like this. Some in our own neighborhoods, schools and families.
Search them out.
Remember why God risked birth into this dangerous isolating world. He came to light up the dark so we can see one another. So we could see God. So we would no longer have to live in that blinding separation from Love.
What will happen when our eyes are opened this way?? Something you don't expect. Here is what happened for me one night last week: brothers, strangers, friends, gathered from distant places and lifted arms around each others shoulders to stand in a circle of prayer over one we all loved. In a circle of such brightness we blinked back tears as we looked at one another. Never had we seen so clearly.
What are some other ways we can see those in the shadows this holiday season?
(Thank you so sincerely for your thoughts and comments below. Please do subscribe so you can read my response, so our word-gifts to one another can be fully exchanged!)