Lately, we've been watching Parenthood on Netflix. At first, it was difficult, because I just couldn't see Lauren Graham as anyone else but Lorelai Gilmore... but now I am getting used to it. Sort of. Actually, not really. Anyway, that is not the point of this post.
The point of this post is that the senior Bravermans, Zeek and Camille, said something that peaked my interest. Z & C are the parents of 4 adult children and the grandparents of many more children, and they have been having some serious marital problems. In counseling, they learned the phrase, "I see you, I hear you." When Zeek gets riled up and wants to start a fight, he stops himself and says this phrase, acknowledging Camille's thoughts and feelings.
Patrick and I liked this so much that we have started using the phrase in our every day lives. See how art has become reality? We don't have a lot of tension in our marriage
When you think about it, there is such a good concept behind this phrase. We all have that desire to be seen and heard, don't we? When we share our thoughts and feelings with another person, we are opening ourselves up to them. We become so vulnerable. Will this person understand? Will they be gentle with my heart and try to really know me? Will they think I am stupid, that my ideas are lame? Will they not really hear what I am saying and insist that we do it their way without even hearing me out? Even worse, will I get a patronizing response just to make me happy so that I'll go away? Will they just talk louder so that they don't have to listen? Or will I be met with silence... just leaving all my vulnerability hanging out there in space? I think that one hurts the most of all. That one makes you just want to take it all back. And not try anymore.
When I am not seen or heard, I tend to build up brick walls around me, like a little cylindrical fortress. I leave one brick out so that I can see out, but other people can't see in. I realize this is wrong. A cylindrical fortress is stifling, dark and cold... certainly not a place that place that promotes any life or growth. I do it anyway.
But then there's God...
"O my dove, in the clefts of the rock,
in the crannies of the cliff,
let me see your face,
let me hear your voice,
for your voice is sweet,
and your face is lovely."
Song of Solomon 2:14
My God is El Roi... "The God Who Sees." Hagar knew this out in the wilderness, rejected and resented by Sarai. She cried out to El Roi, the God who saw her, lonely and despairing. He told her to name her son, Ishmael, meaning "God Hears." He saw them and heard them in a tragic circumstance. And He let them know.
Not matter where we are, whether we are purposely hiding in the cleft of a rock or wandering in a vast wilderness or even just lost in the masses, we are assured that God sees us and hears us. This is who He is. The God who is tender with us, like a dove. He who gently persuades us to emerge so that He can listen to us and look upon our vulnerability with His tenderness and love.
I see you, I hear you, He gently tells His beloved.
I will not make fun of you.
I will not brush you off.
I understand what you are feeling... I have felt that, too.
Tell me about your thoughts.
I have noticed your struggles, how can I help?
I am right here beside you... I won't leave.
You can trust me.
I love you.
I see you.
I hear you.