March 11, 2014
The God Who Sees
By Brittany Tedesco
Have you ever gotten a hug from God?
Not an actual hug, obviously, but something unusual that breaks into your world that seems random but isn’t random at all…and you just know it’s God saying, “Hey, I see you.”
That happened to me the other day in a noisy, crowded restaurant. I’d met a friend for dinner and we sat at one of those tall tables, trying to talk over the clamor.
I didn’t see her coming until she was right there at my seat. A little girl who appeared to be about 10 years old looked up at me, arms opened wide for a hug. She had Downs Syndrome, and clearly wasn’t afraid of strangers. Her mother stood nearby, smiling.
I bent down to hug the beaming girl, and she held on for a good while. What reason did she have to hug me? No reason. Her pure, innocent love just overflowed—onto me! And I soaked it in.
She ran toward her mother, but then turned and came back for a second hug. Then I watched her walk out the door, stop, and press her hands and face to the glass outside to say good-bye to me one more time.
Out of all those other people, I was the one she directed her affection toward.
It was a hug from God. The God Who sees.
He sees alright. The Gospels are full of examples of Jesus looking right straight at a person who needs His touch. The crowds could be clamoring around Jesus, vying for a blessing, a healing. But so often, Jesus looked over them to that person, pushed to the back, too weak to clamor in the crowd. Sick on the ground, bent low. Broken by life. He saw them.
“And He was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath. And there was a woman who for eighteen years had had a sickness caused by a spirit; and she was bent double, and could not straighten up at all. When Jesus saw her, He called her over and said to her, ‘Woman, you are freed from your sickness.’” (Luke 13:10-12)
Likely the synagogue was jam-packed with people. And likely the woman was being ignored…she made people feel uncomfortable. Her condition was odd and seemingly unfixable. It would have been easy to pretend she wasn’t there…to turn away from her.
She didn’t ask for healing. She was bent over so she likely couldn’t even make eye contact with Jesus. But Jesus saw her.
A young Muslim woman lost her husband to the civil war in Syria. She was pregnant when he died. Other family members had already been killed. Frightened, she fled to Lebanon like so many millions before her. There, in a dirty hovel, she gave birth to her firstborn: a baby girl with a large growth on the back of her head.
Heartbroken and penniless, she knew that surgery was out of the question. An operation, costing several thousand dollars might as well cost millions. She had nothing and no one. Did anyone care? Did anyone see?
God saw her through the clamoring crowds of people, the masses struggling to find food and shelter…to stay warm and dry and safe.
A Lebanese missionary assisted by Christian Aid Mission discovered this woman while ministering to other Syrian refugees. He sent word, and photos of the baby, to his ministry leader.
The choice was simple. “We sent the money,” the ministry leader told us. “Yes, there are many, many mouths to feed. There are destitute millions. The needs are endless. But how could we not help her?”
And so the ministry sent the funds, trusting God to replenish them.
The surgery was successful, the defect removed.
God opened wide His arms to give her a hug.