Today I’m reaching out to the person who’s both desperate and terrified to be seen. The one who is at her wits end climbing the corporate ladder and feeling like she’s sliding backwards. The haggard mother smelling of spoiled milk and wearing the same leggings four days in a row as she throws a hat on before dropping her kids off to school. The single woman desperate for connection, shaking off the edges of a hangover as she scrambles for the shower, regretting last night’s encounter and reaching for yesterday’s coffee. I’m holding out my hand to the woman who feels buried in her work and hazardously exposed when making eye contact. The one who covers every inch of her skin in tattoos because she can’t bear to the look at the scars.
I’m reaching out to the one who is hiding and doesn’t want anyone to know it.
“So she called the name of the Lord who spoke to her, ‘You are a God of seeing,’ for she said, ‘Truly here I have seen him who looks after me.’” - Genesis 16:13
One of my favorite names for God is El-roi, which means the God who Sees. I’m an expert at hiding. Not only from extensive practice as a child, but in the Marine Corps they teach us a lot about blending in. No matter how much practice I have, however, or how effective I am at fooling a crowd or people closest to me, I can never fool God. He sees me just as He sees you.
“O Lord, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up, you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it altogether. You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high; I cannot attain it. Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me. If I say, ‘Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light about me be night,’ even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you.” - Psalm 139:1-12
Beloved, why are you hiding? You have a heavenly Father waiting for you to turn to Him and share you heart with Him. You can’t shock or detest Him. He created your inmost being, which means everything you think no one wants to see He already knows is there. And thankfully He's gracious enough to only allow us to expose what we're able to handle. He never demands or takes what He knows will destroy or harm us. He only seeks to heal and restore and bring life (John 10:10).
The heart condition we know is socially unacceptable, He wants us to bear to Him. The fears, doubts, insecurities, tears and screams we don’t believe we can share with anyone, He wants to help us let go.
For many of us, myself included, there is fear that once I fall apart I’ll never be able to put myself together again. My friend, that’s the point. We’ve done such a humanistic job of putting ourselves together it’s like a five-year-old who’s tried to fix the plumbing under the sink. We’ve held ourselves together with twine, chewed up gum, duct tape and Lego pieces. Our Father wants to pull it apart piece by piece, and put the finest and everlasting pieces inside to replace it.
Let Him. Take time this weekend to let the Father in and see the work you’ve done to hold yourself together. You don’t have to hide from Him. Let Him restore, and trust that you are in good hands.
“For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, ‘Fear not, I am the one who helps you.’” - Isaiah 41:13
“Even to your old age I am he, and to gray hairs I will carry you. I have made, and I will bear; I will carry and will save.” - Isaiah 46:4
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” - Matthew 11:28-30