She gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.”Genesis 16:13 (Read Genesis 16:1-16)
Hagar was a woman who had no real rights to speak of. Abraham’s slave — more than that, his mistress. Doing what she needed to do to survive in that time and place, fulfilling her role as was required of her, but hated and abused by the matriarch of the house as a result. With no one to turn to for protection — there wasn’t exactly a Concubines Union to step in and help! — Hagar did what seemed like the only bearable thing left to do: she ran away.
But God is not yet finished with Hagar’s story. Intercepting her on her path, an angel brings her news that she is pregnant! She has provided Abraham a son and an heir; thus assuring her protection and her worth in this patriarchal society.
As troubling as we may find many aspects of this story, Hagar’s beautiful response to the angel is one that always sticks with me, and it’s a response that I find myself echoing in prayer all the time:
You are the God who sees.
Knowing we are seen
Have you ever felt as though you’re not really being seen? Perhaps as part of your role at work, or perhaps even in a room among family and friends. You’re expected to play a particular part, carry out some task in a particular way, maintain a status quo, relate to the people around you in a certain manner, because “that’s just the way things have always been done!” But maybe you feel unappreciated, unrecognised, unfulfilled. Maybe you feel misjudged or even victimised, and it seems like no one is acknowledging it. Or maybe you just feel like you’ve been reduced to a role that doesn’t quite fit you anymore, that you’re not being acknowledged as a person in all your complexity, with the potential for growth and change.
God sees you.
Let the words of this passage in Genesis speak to you the way they spoke to Hagar. The God of creation sees you, knows you, better even than you know yourself. God sees your potential, the things you long for but don’t dare to voice out loud, and the things that haven’t even entered your mind yet.
Sometimes that’s all we need — to remember that we are seen. That our situations are seen. That whatever injustices we are contending with are seen, and that the very essence of who we are is seen.
God sees you, he knows you, and he loves you. Hold on to that knowledge, and let it carry you through.God sees you. He sees your situation, the things you long for, the very essence of who you are. Let that carry you through. Click To Tweet
What does it mean to you to be seen?
- Wrestling with God: Daring to wrestle hopefully
- What does it mean to love as God loves us?
- God is with us — before, beside, and behind (Part 2)