During a recent homework session with a few of my friends from my Biblical Greek class, one of my classmates gave me this flash card. I’m not sure why exactly she gave it to me, but I’ve kept it and it’s been sitting on my desk for about a week. I’ve been studying it: the Greek itself is correct, as is the English translation, so I’m not sure why she gave it to me.
But as I’ve been looking at it day after day, I’ve come to the realization that, from time to time, maybe we all feel the need to give a card like this to people in our world. I think we all have moments when we want to reach out to others and have them see us and acknowledge our existence.
I’m a fairly shy person by nature, and I’d rather be a wallflower than the center of attention in almost any situation. But, I’d still like for people to, at the very least, acknowledge that I am present and that I exist. It’s one thing to know that people know I’m there, it’s another thing to know I’m ignored completely. Truthfully, there are many times when I can come and go from a party, a class room, or a church and no one would ever know I was there to begin with; I was a ghost of a person – my existence (outside of my own knowledge) was never made known.
Now, certainly there is a bit of work to do on my part – I need to at least say hello to a few people, chat up someone, make a joke, talk about the weather – but there also needs to be work done by others as well. We all need to be intentional in finding everyone at a party, at an event, in a classroom, on the street, or in a place of worship.
One of the greatest things I’ve heard from a friend recently was a comment made towards me: “I see you.” This shook my core because even though I hadn’t done anything at all, she still went out of her way to acknowledge me as a human being and to confirm my existence. It was a simple gesture that lifted my spirits in a way that few other things had done that day.
These little gestures of seeing can go a long way to make people feel alive: a simple hello to a stranger in the grocery store, a few small coins given to the panhandler on the corner, a genuine question of “How is your day?” to the convenience store clerk, a smile and wave to a neighbor. These are simple acts that tell others that we see them, that we know they are, and that we know they exist.
May God give us the eyes and voice to witness others’ existence in this fast-moving world, and may others do the same for us.
much love. sheth.