Nathanael said to Him, “How do You know me?” Jesus answered and said to him, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.”
Then Nathanael declared, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the king of Israel.”
Jesus said, “You believe because I told you I saw you under the fig tree. You will see greater things than that.”
John 1: 48-50
I woke up the other morning with these words in my head – someone sees you. I couldn’t trace them back to a dream or anything I had been thinking about. I pushed them to the back of my mind and went on with my day.
My day included a trip to the grocery store and as I was walking out to my car, I passed an elderly man driving a motorized grocery cart. He stopped at his car. He limped and had a very hard time getting up out of that cart. I considered offering to help but reasoned my way out of that. But I kept hearing the grunts and groans he was making and seeing the struggle he had walking and lifting groceries.
I walked over and asked if I could help. He didn’t even turn to look at me. He just said “no.” Then I said something like I know what’s it like to go grocery shopping alone and be in severe pain.
Then he stopped and looked at me. His countenance lightened and he said thank you several times. I asked if I could help again and again he said he was good. I started to walk back to my car and heard him call out thank you. I turned to see him one more time and he was looking at me and smiling and said, “really, thank you.”
It wasn’t until hours later that I remembered the words someone sees you. Perhaps the words were a nudge from the Holy Spirit for me to keep my eyes open to someone who needs to be seen. Someone who needs to know someone cares enough to look in their direction.
In this story from the book of John, Nathanael is so touched by the fact that Jesus saw him that he declared that Jesus must be the Son of God. Nathanael became a disciple and followed Jesus from that day on. What might others do if they knew someone saw them? If they knew they weren’t some obscure, easily overlooked individual?
I have been the one at the grocery store in crippling pain trying to load groceries into my van and had someone see me, some stranger I may never see again. I have been on the receiving end of that offer of assistance. Unlike my friend in the parking lot, I accepted their help. It meant the world to me to have that help, to know that someone saw me.
I am humbled by my encounter in the parking lot with that crippled man. And ashamed. Ashamed of the countless times that my agenda gave me excuse to not see someone. It has been said that Jesus followers are to be His hands and feet in this world. This experience tells me we are also to be His eyes.
Father, thank You for seeing me. Thank You for sending help in a variety of ways, sometimes by the hands of strangers. Your goodness to me knows no bounds. Forgive me for the times that I have failed to see or worse, seen and failed to respond to Your nudging me to offer help. Help me to be more sensitive to Your leading. Help me to see the someone You have placed in my path. In Jesus’ name, amen.
I would love to hear from you. Please let me know if I can be praying for you as well.
pic credit: mamabishop.blogspot.com
pic credit: acatholic.org