24 Oct “Do You See Me?” by Melissa Mitchell
Most people want to be seen, to be known. I don’t mean in a famous or public way. They want to be known as an individual. They want to be heard, to be seen, to be understood. I think Jesus was fantastic at this. (Of course he was!) As in any culture and society, there were many people during his time who were suffering, ignored, excluded, or considered outcasts.
Here are some of the people that Jesus saw:
The Samaritan woman at the well in John 4. In verses 7 & 8- “When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” 8 (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.) The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans)”
Zacchaeus 19:6- “When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.”
The woman with a bleeding disease, Matthew 9:22- “Jesus turned and saw her. “Take heart, daughter,” he said, “your faith has healed you.” And the woman was healed at that moment.”
Jesus not only physically saw them, but he reached out to them. He listened, he cared, he comforted, he accepted. He understood them. Do we see the people in our culture? The people who are different than us, people in need? The people who might behave in ways we might not like?
There is a lot going on in our communities right now. Do we really see the homeless, the person on the street corner asking for money, the person in line with food stamps? What about the people who are kneeling at the start of a football game? Do we see the true person or just what they are doing? Do we see the person that is actually kneeling? Not the actual protest, but the person behind the protest?
In any of these scenarios, he or she might say to us, do you see me?
My hopes & dreams?
How can we respond?
And sometimes we even kneel.