The God Who Sees
Imagine you are a woman named Hagar. You’re an Egyptian a servant. You work for a guy named Abram; but mainly you serve his wife Sarai. There’s a problem though – she can’t get pregnant, presumably she’s barren. So she convinces her husband/your master/boss to take you as wife number two.
You’re Hagar. Called out of a margin in hopes of producing life and joy; but as you can imagine – things don’t go quite as planned.
In the midst of all this; Hagar runs away. Into the wilderness; away from the chaos, the cruelty of Sarai, and her own bitterness. I would guess that the pain and desolation she felt would be almost unbearable.
But God sees her. In fact, He sees it all – the pain, the error, the hurt – all of it. And in His mercy, He meets Hagar in the middle.
Hagar called out a praise to The Lord, and called him a beautiful name; Jehovah El-roi, commonly translated as “the God who sees”.
‘El’ means mighty strength, or the strong one. ‘Roi’ means to see, look at, inspect, perceive, to consider. I find great joy in knowing that this poor, marginalized woman would call out to The Lord using this name. It shows me that El-roi, in His mighty strength, CHOOSES to inspect my ways, to perceive me. He considers me. The Creator of the largest galaxy and the genome: considers me. And you.
But the God who sees more than just me or you. He see the ones we often do not think to remember, the ones that can be hard to love, the marginalized – those who are in many ways, like Hagar. Her whole life (that we know of) – Hagar wasn’t at the forefront. She’s usually in obscurity, even off in the wilderness when we really meet her. But El-roi; He sees her. Her hurt. Her heart. He meets her in the middle with instructions on what to do next. He looks at her.
I think that’s what God wants us to do about people that are in the margins. He wants us to step in and meet them in the middle, look at the marginalized and really see them. God wants us to consider the hurts, hopes and dreams of the marginalized with the lens of love.
In many ways, God could have left Hagar in the wilderness, but that’s not who our God is. He is El-roi. He sees us, the marginalized, and everyone in between. I wanna be more like Him. I want to see people with God’s eyes and love them right where they are at and watch them move into their glorious, God ordained futures.
Written by Hallie Stennes, a student at the University of North Florida