• TeMah LoraLee

What Can I Do to Be Seen? (Y1.T1.D47)


Pexels; "Mitchell Luo"

As a teenager, I was a hopeless romantic. After attending a wedding, I saved and cherished a paper napkin with the words, “When one of you cries, the other will taste salt.”


As an adult, I recognize this as an idyllic and unrealistic sentiment. Job more accurately stated, “Naked I came out of my mother’s womb, and naked will I return” (Job 1:21). While I entered and will exit this world as an individual, this doesn’t erase my need to be understood. During his trials, Job spends over thirty chapters trying to be seen by his friends.


God did say, “It is not good for the man to be alone” Genesis 2:18, which means there must be a balance between our individualism and our need for community.


But what if I find a group of like-minded people to spend time with. How can I as an individual know that the others around me see me?


The simplest and best answer is, “Stop trying.”


Yes, I need to stop working at being seen and just work.


In our passage today, John the Baptist, who knew Jesus was the Christ when he baptized him (John 1:29), later sent two of his disciples to ask Jesus, “Are you the one who is coming, or should we look for another?” (Luke 7:19).


If that were me, I would have been frustrated. After all, John was his first cousin.


Instead, Jesus gave John the evidence he requested and then praised him by saying, “There is no greater prophet than John the Baptizer” (Luke 7:28).


Jesus never worked at being seen, he just worked.


John the Baptist never worked at being seen, he just worked.


If someone questioned or doubted who they were, it didn’t phase them because they were too busy trying to please God, rather than men.


And that’s what I need to do.


“John the Baptizer came neither eating bread nor drinking wine, and [people said], ‘He has a demon.’ The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and [people say], ‘Behold, a gluttonous man, and a drunkard; a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’” (Luke 7:33–34)


No matter what I do, other people will filter my efforts through their own perceptions. No one on this earth is ever going to taste salt when I cry unless they are crying at the same time. Instead, I should focus my time on working “heartily, as for the Lord, and not for men, knowing that from the Lord [I] will receive the reward of the inheritance; for [I] serve the Lord Christ.” (Colossians 3:23–24)


And when it’s time, God will let the people who need to see, see.


Being Seen By God


1 When Jesus had finished directing his twelve disciples, he departed from there to teach and preach in their cities.


2 Now when John heard in the prison the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples (Matthew 11:1–2)


18 The disciples of John told him about all these things. (Luke 7:18)

Matthew 11:3, Luke 7:19


20 When the men had come to him, they said, “John the Baptizer has sent us to you, saying, ‘Are you he who comes, or should we look for another?’”


21 In that hour he cured many of diseases and plagues and evil spirits; and to many who were blind he gave sight. (Luke 7:20–21)

Matthew 11:4–9, Luke 7:22–26

Malachi 3:1a, Matthew 11:10, Luke 7:27


1b and the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to his temple; and the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, behold, he comes!” says Yahweh of Armies. 2 “But who can endure the day of his coming? And who will stand when he appears? For he is like a refiner’s fire, and like launderers’ soap; 3 and he will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the sons of Levi, and refine them as gold and silver; and they shall offer to Yahweh offerings in righteousness. 4 Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasant to Yahweh, as in the days of old, and as in ancient years. 5 I will come near to you to judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against the perjurers, and against those who oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow, and the fatherless, and who deprive the foreigner of justice, and don’t fear me,” says Yahweh of Armies. (Malachi 3:1b–5)

Matthew 11:11, Luke 7:28


12 From the days of John the Baptizer until now, the Kingdom of Heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force. 13 For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John. 14 If you are willing to receive it, this is Elijah, who is to come. 15 He who has ears to hear, let him hear. (Matthew 11:12–15)


29 When all the people and the tax collectors heard this, they declared God to be just, having been baptized with John’s baptism. 30 But the Pharisees and the lawyers rejected the counsel of God, not being baptized by him themselves. (Luke 7:29–30)

Matthew 11:16–19, Luke 7:31–35

Meditation Moment


Dear God,


I confess that I want to be seen and understood by others. However, I don’t want this desire to compromise my calling. Instead, show me how to work for You and not for men (Colossians 3:23). Strengthen me so I won’t grow weary while doing good (Galatians 6:9). And when someone passes by without seeing me, give me the grace to remember all the people I pass by and fail to recognize. Please change my perspective so I can love others as I love myself (Leviticus 19:18).


Amen.


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