I love dogs, & currently have a weimardoodle with a greater surplus of personality than I have ever known. She’s very quick to learn, but won’t show it unless she’s sufficiently challenged & intrigued. Liz always has to have the last word, sighing deeply just when I turn my back. She’s also playful & curious, & like most dogs, loves to run & be outdoors. Though spending time with her is one of my favorite things, I sometimes find myself quite frustrated when I’ve spent hours of the day caring for her & getting her out, only to find she’s still restless & acting needful of my attention. In such a mood, I’ll often ask her exactly what it is that she wants, & the answer is unfailingly spoken through her intense gaze: she wants my undivided attention. Of course this isn’t always, or even often possible, but I have found I’ll have a very different dog on my hands if I’ll just do one simple thing…take the time to truly see her. All that seems to be required is for me to meet her where she’s at, lock eyes with her, & hold her for just a minute or so. By sacrificing a solitary minute, my dog is content for hours.
As I do this most days, it strikes me that this is what I’m longing for from those I love most too. I just want to be truly seen & heard. It is this I long for from my Lord. King David reminds us that God does see each one of us: ”The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, & His ears are attentive to their cry….” (Psalm 34:15). Despite His promise & its intangible reality, I’m almost always convicted by God’s reproach of the Israelites through the prophet Isaiah (40:27-28): “Why do you say, O Jacob, & complain, O Israel, ‘My way is hidden from the LORD; my cause is disregarded by my God?’ Do you not know, have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, & His understanding no one can fathom.” Here too, it is I who must pause to fix my eyes on the One who has seen me all along. Just a minute within His intense gaze, & He’ll have a very different daughter on His hands: my strength will be renewed (Isaiah 40:31), my soul will be stilled, & I will be radiant (Psalm 34:5), as all are who look to Him.
It is then I know the truth of a favorite verse from Isaiah 49:15-16, written many hundreds of years before the coming & crucifixion of Jesus: “Can a mother forgot the baby at her breast, & have no compassion on the child she has born? I tell you, though she may forget, I will not forget you. See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands. Your walls, O Israel, are ever before me.” Be at peace Beloved: you are seen. The walls you face each day never pass from His sight. How could He forget? YOU are ENGRAVED on the palms of His hands.