Yesterday I was pushing a cart through Wegmans’, thinking about s’more supplies and mentally crossing off my list, when I saw him. He was shuffling along behind a middle age man, probably his dad, and being trailed by a talkative eight-ish year old boy who looked a lot like him.
I bet he was 18, with dyed-black hair and too-big clothes. Taller than most, and so, painfully thin.. He had one arm crossed over his stomach, gripping his upper arm. He followed his hard-and-weary-looking dad and blinked slowly at the crowds and barely glanced at his (probably) little brother, who chattered up at him with eager eyes.
I happened to cross them in the coffee aisle, and then we both turned towards the milk together- and I stopped thinking about the cookout I was hosting, or about the marshmallows or what time it was, and I wanted so much… to do something.
I wanted to hug him or catch his arms and speak encouraging words to him- I wanted so much to find out why he seemed so hopeless and discouraged, and to do something about it.
I didn’t, of course. How weird would that be? If some strange lady accosted you with affection in the middle of a grocery store.
But here I am, the next day, thinking about him still. And I decided. I’m going to write to him, though I’ll probably never see him again, and post the words here.
Because maybe these words were meant for you.
You don’t know me. But I saw you today and I wanted to tell you-
I see you.
I see that you’re troubled, you’re having a hard time.
I can’t imagine to know why or how hard it is. I don’t know your life, I don’t know your hurts, I don’t know the stress that you’re facing- I don’t know you.
But I see you. And I care about you.
Because I know how I am when I’m troubled- I feel alone, I feel unsafe. I feel angry and scared and all kinds of things. And I feel like no one sees.
I want to tell you that even though I’m a stranger- even though I may never see you again, I see you. And I care.
And I’m not the only one.
You see, the reason why I see you is because there’s someone else who sees you, and loves you. You might already have guessed. It’s Your Maker, the Creator of Heaven and Earth. He’s the God of the Bible- The good God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. He made you, and he loves you- and he sees you.
I know you might feel like he doesn’t.
But he does.
And because of how good he has been to me- because he has been so loving and tender to me- his love fills my cup and overflows- and I have lots to give for you. That’s why I see you.
I’m wondering if you know that love- if you can grab onto it like an anchor in your storms.
You might have heard this before- that God is good, that he loves you. It’s true. The Bible says it. But if you have a hard time believing that, I might know why. You see- The Bible also says something else.
The Bible says that God is Holy. It’s an old-fashioned word that means “perfect, pure, good.” It’s basically the opposite of evil, or “sin.”
And the Holy God, like a magnet, repels evil. Sin isn’t allowed near him.
And long ago, in the garden, Adam and Eve chose that evil- rejected their friendship with God- and brought sin into the word. Ever since then, every single human has done the same thing. We do it whenever we obey our own desires instead of God’s perfect, good laws.
Now, some people might have taught you that people are basically good… And you know what? Most people desire to be good. But wanting to be good and having good intentions doesn’t make you good. A lot of evil is done by people who think they’re being good. And besides that- we all willingly do things that we know to be wrong, anyway.
Because sin is stuck in us.
Now let me tell you about God’s love.
God, in his love, He doesn’t protect us and care for us while we’re living in rebellion– because he wants so much for us to return to him. Does that sound harsh? Remember this: everything good you do have is from him. Every breath. Every bite of food. He doesn’t completely abandon us.
But he lets us have the natural results of our sins- trouble and pain… because what he wants is for us to call out to him and get the sin cleaned out from us. Because he wants us to live in the same goodness and love and hope that he is full of! He doesn’t want wretched, evil, and wickedness for us!
That’s what his laws are all about.
You see, his laws, spelled out in the Bible- describe perfectly what is wrong, and what is right. But we, time and time again, reject his ways. We call evil things “good.” And we call good things “wrong.” We all do it. It’s wrong. It’s rebellion.
That’s where his son Jesus came in. You see, the sin brought in by Adam and Eve had a price- death. Every single person who even a little bit rebels against the Holy God earns death. It’s the oldest eternal law there ever was. And unfortunately, death means eternal separation from God.
And logically- if God is good, if God is love, if God is everything perfect and holy- than separation from that means the exact opposite. Evil. Hatred. Everything debase and awful.
It means Hell.
Jesus came and told us of the Father’s love, and then he willingly laid down his divine power, took up the cross, and bled and died to pay the price for us.
And because he did that, his payment covered the sins of anyone who comes to the Lord in humility and wants to be forgiven of their rebellion.
So. Let’s talk about you. If you’ve been feeling alone, if you talk to the heavens and feel like God doesn’t answer– it could be because sin is separating you from the God who longs so much to comfort you and keep you and be a Father to you.
So today- I see you. And I feel so much the longing of the Father, and his words, “I see you.”
If today, you hear this message, call out to Him. The Bible says, “Whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Romans 10:1)
Today, friend. Don’t waste another day living apart from the One who loves you more than you can ever know. You’ll find the comfort and hope you’re looking for.
P.S. If you want to write to me, I’d listen. firstname.lastname@example.org