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El Roi, The God Who Sees

Thereafter, Hagar used another name to refer to the Lord, who had spoken to her. She said, “You are the God who sees me.” Genesis 16:13

A dozen of long stemmed roses in various colors, a bouquet in a glass vase, appear on my desk on a mid-Friday afternoon. I was too busy to notice who delivered them but not to busy to wonder whom they were for. When I removed the attached card and noticed my name on the front of the envelope I thought it had to be a mistake. Who would send me roses? I sat down staring at the typed name on the front again, thinking that someone made a mistake. Finally, I opened the envelope and pulled out the note inside and read the scripted font, I did not recognize the name of the sender so I called the florist. “I love the beautiful arrangement of roses I received from your floral shop but I have no idea who sent them, can you give me some more information?” The clerk was able to give me the last name and address of the sender. None of this information helped me solve the mystery. As I sat at my desk, in the quietness of the room, I prayed, “Lord, give me truth. I am kind of freaked out here feeling very vulnerable. Please tell me who this person is.” I decided at that point (from a prompting of the Holy Spirit) to ask a fellow co-worker if they recognized the name. Sure enough they did! They described the person to me and I realized I didn’t even know his last name and honestly remembering having only one conversation with them months ago. I was devastated. “What did I do to lead this person on? How could I have made them think I was interested in them, I didn’t even remember their name?” That’s just where the emotions began. I ran from guilt, to shame, to embarrassment, to disappointment, to flat out heart break in a matter of thirty minutes. I allowed myself to believe, to dream, that God could actually be sending me a husband.

With the single men that have come into my life since James’ death, I have had my reasons to believe that God has forgotten me or at least doesn’t see me anymore. I wonder and cry at times looking up to heaven, “God, do you see me?”

Early on in my Christian walk, I can recall struggling with the presence of God. Over and over I would recite, “He will never leave me nor forsake me”. Hebrews 13:5 became my constant focus. I now can trust that God will never leave me today or ever. Then it seems I switched to “I know you won’t leave me but have you forgotten me?” Apparently the Israelites struggled with the same, asking God if He had forgotten them as well, to which He replies in Isaiah 49:15, “Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has born? Though she may forget, I will not forget you!” Today, my heart longs for God to see me. I know He will never leave me nor forget me but does He see me?

The next morning as I lay in bed thinking through all the details of the previous days events my mind rushes to two bits of details. First, I was told that upon delivery of the flowers they almost made a big mistake, my card was attached to a funeral arrangement! The delivery person noticed the mistake, quickly made the adjustment and left the correct rose bouquet. The other detail that kept echoing in my mind was the address of the person who sent me the flowers. The florist had given me this information and the staff person that confirmed his identity was also aware of his address. “Why, Lord, why are you having me remember these insignificant details?” 317, (the house number from the address). Funeral arrangement. Over and over I kept hearing these details in my mind and then the tears began to flood my face. 317. My wedding anniversary was March 17. Funeral arrangement. Not only does God see me but James does too. Both together. Christ and James in heaven, understanding my heart, my desires, my pain. I have not been left, nor forgotten, nor unseen. Like Hagar, despite the heartache, poor choices, and bad circumstances, God will honor me. He is El Roi, the God who sees.


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