Thursday, July 26, 2007

El Roi

Names are powerful. At one time people believed that if you knew someone's name you could understand them, you could control them. Names were chosen with care and discretion. They often revealed something integral about the owner.

Ann Spangler wrote Praying the Names of God. This is a devotional based on some of the Old Testament names of God. The following is based on this name. El Roi—the God Who Sees ( Genesis 16:1-15)


El Roi—my God who sees me. Sees me. Many people glance at me. A few look at me. But you see me. The breadth and height of that thought is overwhelming and full of hope. You see me and love me anyway.

You see me in the tarnished glory I attempt to portray. You see through my facade, the painted storefront that I keep. You see my flailing struggles, my failed attempts, and my faltering steps. You see the disoriented, confused child—the wandering waif who cannot find her way.

You see the wounded parts of me and you do not cover your eyes against my diseased flesh.

You see the hopes, dreams, and ambitions that I have hidden in the deepest niches of my soul. You see the longings and the sighings that I push down and try to ignore. El Roi, you see the me I want to be.

You see all my vain attempts. You see through my veneer. You see the fragments and remnants of failed relationships that litter my path like discarded clothes.

With Hagar I have wondered if God did, would, or will hear me.

With Hagar I am in the desert bent over and cradling a fragile life within. We wrap our feeble arms of protection around swollen bellies and inflated dreams and weep. El Roi sees what is precious to us and about to die. He sees the pain and sorrow that causes us to rock back and forth in anguish.

In Hagar's pain and despair you revealed to her that not only do you hear, but you also see.

Let me see you. Open my eyes. Let me know you are still present. Reveal yourself—Let me see the One who sees me.

3 comments:

Mac Goddard said...

Wow! I do not know what else to say!

Larry said...

I wish I had what you have. I think you're the psalmist. This reminds me of some things you wrote 20 years ago when you used to wear a beret.

Abby said...

I don't believe that I have ever read something more beautiful by someone in our family. You have a true gift.