Monday, October 1, 2018

God Sees Us

Dear Friends,

Do you know, we are never out of God’s sight? In Genesis 16, Hagar referred to God as “the God Who sees me.”

That statement means a lot to me these days as I’m watching my husband go through chemotherapy. In the last week, we’ve had a trip to ER for a major nosebleed and two days of IV treatments. We’ve dealt with very high blood pressure and the possibility of side effects from the chemo. Fortunately, so far they have been minimal.

It’s worrisome. And much as I know God doesn’t want me to worry (after all, I’ve memorized Philippians where Paul says “Do not be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and petition with thanksgiving present your requests onto God . . . “), I sometimes toss and turn wondering what the next day holds.

When that happens, I get up, go to my easy chair and look for a message from God in scripture or in inspirational reading. I pray. I ponder. And God settles me down. Evidence to me that He sees me.

As we speak to women at retreats, I feel inadequate to relieve them of the burdens they carry-- burdens of pain and grief, bitterness and unforgiveness.

Then I realize, I need not have pat answers. I need only point them to the God who sees them. The God who sees them crying over the loss of a husband or child. He sees them when pain grips their bodies. God sees them when their child throws a temper tantrum in the middle of the supermarket. God sees and God cares.

Yes, God sees us in the good times and the bad. Perhaps a deeper question would be, do we see God? Do we see Him in the ordinary stuff of life? If we’re not looking for Him, we may miss Him.

I recently read Liturgy of the Ordinary by Tish Harrison Warren in which she offers suggestions to see God during our everyday lives.

For instance, she suggests that as we make our beds, we bring order out of chaos and be reminded how God created the world. She suggests as we care for our bodies, we consider how they are temples of God’s Holy Spirit, worthy of attention and respect.

Warren reminds us that our vocations offer opportunities to embrace God’s mission in the world. Her ideas could make a whole other post.

For now, consider this: Although a slave, Hagar was made in God’s image, embraced by God’s love. She had great value, dignity and purpose. God saw her and cared for her. And He sees us and cares for us as well.


Upcoming Friends of the Heart Engagements:

October 12-14 - Camp Hill United Methodist Church Women's Retreat at Mt. Asbury, Newville, "At Any Age, At Any Stage: Celebrating the Christian Life."

October 20 - Women of the ECLA Fall Retreat at Mt. Luther, Mifflinburg, "Just Say Yes--to God!"

Prayer needs:

My Friend of the Heart Kim will have surgery for breast cancer this week, and later in the month Bill will have his second round of chemo.