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.

Will you?

This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.

- John 15:22


  1. Alex,

    I may have been Patty in my school, and I hope somehow someway, Patty has received what she needed from God even if not from anyone in the room around her.

    I do remember to see. I've learned from the time I've spent walking with God into the lives of hurting people that they respond to how I receive them. If I am wigged out by their problems, they are going to get wiggier... But, if I don't respond to their wiggyness they often stop acting wiggy and we have the opportunity to hear from God about their problems.

    Part of that is me intentionally seeking to identify with them from God's heart and His perspective. If I ask Him to speak to me about them then I am empowered to love them beyond whatever may be presenting itself at the time. Thank you for reminding me not to let people wig me out when what they really need is to be seen, heard and connected to the heart of God. :) Love you, friend.


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