The other day, I was really stressed from a long day of work, and I was ready to ask for some peace. As I started presenting my “first world problems” to God, He started shifting my attention to the amount of homeless people in Chicago.
As I walked through the city, I saw this old woman, looking down, holding a cardboard sign that said:
My heart was gripped immediately. I passed by her and felt a huge tug to go back. I turned around, reached into my pocket, got out a quarter and a penny (all I really had) and started walking towards her.
I crouch down a bit, look at her and tell her “God bless you!” with a smile.
I wasn’t really expecting anything back.
Yet, that woman lifts her face, looks at me in the eyes and starts to bless me.
“God bless you sweetie, God bless you…”
She didn’t even look down at her cup or pay attention to the money I had given her. She just looked at me with such love and warmth that caught me completely off guard.
I was struck.
Struck by warm, genuine, tender love. She continued to bless me as I walked away, never once letting her gaze wonder until I was completely out of her sight.
She saw me because I saw her.
I walked away completely unsettled, shaken. Though it seems like I gave to her, I’m pretty sure this old woman had no idea how much she gave me.
God then started to speak into my heart.
“She’s was not joyful because of the money. She was joyful because you saw her. In the midst of chaos, you saw her. You stopped. You looked in her eyes. She was valued.”
Then, He gave another dimension.
“Just like I see you, Nathalia. I look at you in your eyes. I care. I’m always there to comfort you. Even when you feel broken and alone, I lift up your face. I see you.”
Wow. Aren’t we all truly like that homeless woman?
What a relief that we have a God that sees us!
I later remembered a portion I was reading in the book of Jonah, and how God had called Jonah to go to a great city called Nineveh.
“This time Jonah obeyed the Lord’s command and went to Nineveh, a city so large that it took three days to see it all.” Jonah 3:3
This is funny, because if you look up Chicago tours, most say that it takes three days to see the best of Chicago.
Anyways, Nineveh had a problem, and God had a say in it:
“But Nineveh has more than 120,000 people living in spiritual darkness… Shouldn’t I feel sorry for such a great city?” Jonah 4:11
As I kept walking, I saw people differently. My heart went towards every person I encountered.
You see, you don’t have to be homeless to be broken, alone or ashamed.
Brokenness is everywhere: with the rich, the poor, the young and the old.
We all need a Savior. And He sees us. We have a God that knows us, love us and wants to heal us. God sees the cardboard sign of our hearts and knows just what our condition is.
He also has the perfect prescription: His love.
Would you accept that love with joy? I know I needed that reminder. Sometimes we get so caught up that we don’t look up at His tender love.
Receive that love today.
As He sees us, we can choose to see Him.
How precious to me are your thoughts, God!
How vast is the sum of them!
Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand—
when I awake, I am still with you.
Listen to this song as you meditate on how He sees you.