Can I just be gut-wrenching honest with you? I'm sitting here in my leggings and drinking hot tea. I may or may not be watching reruns of The Office; and I am pretty sure I haven't washed my hair in three days. I am tired. And I am lonely.
It's not really about being surrounded by others, because we know that we can be lonely even when we aren't alone. Rather, I believe that it comes down to a singular, universal question that burns deep in our hearts.
Does anyone see me?
Put another way, we want to know if anyone has gone before us -- in circumstances, in milestones, in defeat or even in victory; and that upon meeting us they might see us and say, "me too."
I think rather instinctively, we search for friendships, groups, and communities in the hopes that they would become the answer to our question. That somehow, we would find a kindred spirit with whom we could share this season of life or moment in time.
Quite frankly, this is where it goes all wrong for me. I tend to look for people FIRST, and then God. He always comes last. I've made community my savior, walking toward a group of people who are just as lost as me. Meanwhile, the one true God - who has gone before me and who walks alongside me - is calmly waiting for me to turn to Him. Waiting for me, so that He can say, "Me too, child. Me too."
I often covet the gaze of another, a friend, my husband, a group; when the gaze of my Father - the One who created the heavens and the earth, the One who has numbered the hairs on my head, the One who sat down beside me in my darkest moments holding me as I cried, mourned, and questioned my significance, the One who celebrated every single victory and showed up for me even when no one else did, the One who met with me in the dark of the night helping me sort through hard, sometimes unanswerable questions...
This. This is the gaze that I ignore.
Indeed, there is One who has gone before us and who, in fact, walks alongside us in each season of our life. He knows what we need before we need it. And, He sees us. Before we turn our focus on others, we must first turn our eyes upon Him. We must see Him. Our longing to be noticed will never be satiated with the gifts, compliments or even relationships of others. Even the person to whom we are the closest and whom we love the most, they can never fill what God was meant too.
Friends, I am not alone. Neither are you.
Let's turn our eyes upon Jesus. In every season.