I see you.
Take a moment and think about what those words mean to you. What feelings bubble up to the surface?
These words (and the meaning behind them) have a way of penetrating my heart like few others do. When I thought about those words this morning, I immediately thought of a few other phrases that tend to stir a similar feeling in my heart:
I know you. You matter. You are significant.
It’s been awhile since I’ve written specifically about my One Word this year. For the last few years, beginning in January, I’ve chosen one word to focus on. This year my word was validate. I even have the words spelled out with Scrabble tiles on my fireplace mantle. (Not an original idea, I saw another individual do this and the Scrabble addict living inside me thought it was a clever idea.)
I have to admit, I haven’t consciously thought about my one word for several months. However, as I look back over the year…I’ve been learning and relearning what this word should mean…it’s been a part of so many things on my heart.
I’ve heard messages at church about how everyone desires to be known. I’ve written blog posts about my own struggle over the years with feeling unseen or insignificant. I’ve written blog posts on my desire to help others feel seen and significant. Earlier this year, the issue of human trafficking wrapped itself around my heart and I felt a burden to help. And, in July, I started volunteering for a local organization that hopes be a part of ending trafficking in this area (and around the world).
To me…all those things circle back to my one word: validate. As I thought more about the ache in our hearts to be significant, I thought about a post I wrote over two years ago about one guy in the Bible who Jesus validated one day by saying three simple words to him…I saw you.
From Fig Tree to Follower
Originally post May 2, 2012
“When Jesus saw Nathanael approaching, he said of him, “Here truly is an Israelite in whom there is no deceit.” “How do you know me?” Nathanael asked. Jesus answered, “I saw you while you were still under the fig tree before Philip called you.” John 1: 47-48
These verses brought a smile to my face this morning. I love the reminder that God knows us, see us, and understands us long before we are ever introduced to Him. I love the memory Jesus chooses to share with Nathanael. It doesn’t appear to be some earth shattering type moment in Nathanael’s life. And yet something about it was significant to Nathanael, he knew exactly what moment Jesus was referring to.
I wonder what made that particular memory so special for Nathanael? I wonder what he was thinking about as he sat under that tree? We aren’t told what made that memory special…but Nathanael knew and Jesus certainly knew. I love how these verses reflect the unique intimacy we each can have with Christ.
Jesus sees Nathanael and immediately validates that he is not just one of many. He’s significant in Christ’s eyes. I know you. I saw you. You were sitting under the fig tree!
I don’t know about you, but these verses are comforting to me. It’s a reminder to me that God sees us and remembers us all the time. He even recalls the tiny, seemingly insignificant points along our journey. There is no detail in our lives that goes unnoticed by Him.
Today, let this be our goal. To see people. To acknowledge people. To let them know they matter.
Lord, forgive me for the times my eyes and my heart have missed the opportunity to validate others who cross my path. Help me to see today.