I remember her...
I see you.
It was the end of senior year. Classes came to a halt, activities came to an end, and every period of the day seemed filled with the anticipation of the future.
The choir room where I'd spent much of my time was filled with friends exchanging yearbooks and watching end of year performances when she got up to the white-board.
For all intents and purposes we'll call her Patty. I'd known her since sophomore year, and maybe she had been there even before that. Regardless, I never really saw her. She faded into the background.
But that day she'd had enough. She timidly approached the front of the room and wrote something, I cannot exactly recall what, that had to do with the fact that she was here, she was a person of worth, and she was tired of being ignored by "all of us." I don't remember her exact words....
But I remember her.
I remember the tears that welled up behind her eyes, the ones she couldn't hold back. I remember the bursts of laughter after she ran out of the room.
And I remember that I did nothing. I didn't go after her, I didn't stand up for her, I didn't embrace her.
I didn't see her.
I wonder what one look into those eyes, the ones that held back tears---what one statement of "you matter" or "you're valuable" might have done. What difference it would have made, if any, to know that at least one person saw her there in the background.
I think I know the answer....
And I wonder how many out there feel unseen, and how many of us are ignorantly unaware that it may just be our job to see them.
As ambassadors to the world of a love so great and so sacred, so vast and so encompassing---as people who serve a God who sees the 'least of these,' the misfits, and the nobodies--how many times have we walked by without a thought?
I remember her.
Patty, she taught me a lesson that day, a lesson that I'm just now understanding the importance of. To see past people's exteriors and their hurts, and my presuppositions and judgements.
So today, in honor of her, I remember to see.
This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.
- John 15:22