All eyes were on the pretty 18 year old as she walked in. You could see it happening in slow motion if your head wasn’t in your phone. The young men looking. The old men looking. The women looking. And then she was gone and everything returned to a normal speed again.
Except…there was something lingering. A feeling. And it seem to whisper like a breath of dark smoke.
You. Are. Irrelevant.
Because in the moment it took for everyone in the room to notice the young girl, everyone also ignored the old woman who was walking by too.
This is our culture.
The old woman who’s heart is as deep as an ocean. Who’s wisdom is a well of understanding. Who’s experience is wide and who’s soul knows both sorrow and joy. Who’s hands have served. Who’s heart has broken and mended a thousand times. Who's hair has shrunk back and shrivelled short and who's body is betraying her. Her shine and her gloss are inward and you can’t see them…unless. Unless you look her in the eye and ask…who are you? But people rarely do.
The 18 year old shines up nice in the mornings. Her hair a mane of wild proportions. Her eyes sparkle and her body announces itself like a bird landing on a platform. I am here. Her shine and her gloss are outward and you can see them without asking. You can take them in. And people do.
This is our culture.
It’s the man packing up his desk because the boss has not picked him to stay and he wonders at his age if he’ll ever be picked again.
It’s the woman who’s counselled dozens of women who come to cry on her couch while they sip coffee and eat the sweets she’s prepared. She prays for their souls and their hurts and their hearts and later she sees them on Facebook at their parties. Their wine gatherings. Their celebrations. She is never invited. Not once.
It’s the woman who’s children are old enough to care for themselves. Her empty house groans. And inside she aches. To be chased. To be seen. To be needed. To be wanted.
As we age, it’s as if we are ushered by flashlight into this dark room where we are told to wait. There is no celebration here. There is loneliness. There is fear. There is longing. There is hoping if we can get on the treadmill and go fast enough, we can outrun the clock.
And yet. We keep walking into rooms unseen.
Seen and heard. That’s what the world says we all want. To be seen and heard. But what if it’s not at all what we need? What if what we need is to listen. What if in that slow motion moment we are not meant to notice being noticed or unnoticed, but to hear a voice. Can we replay that slow motion moment another way? Where BOTH women, the 18 year old and the older woman turn their heads away from the eyes of the world toward the voice as it speaks:
I see you. I want to pursue you. You are worthy. A treasure. Worth far more than rubies.
Don’t inhale the dark smoke. Don’t believe the lies.
You are a masterpiece and I’m not finished with you yet.
I. Pick. You. YOU!!!!
The thing is, the world only has the ability to see us as we are now. Unfinished. The 18 year old is just barely growing into her true beauty. The old woman is almost there.
Human eyes are limited, but God can see us all at once.
Our ENTIRE life is in his eyes.
ALL of the mess and the beauty and the stretching and growing, the aching and the longing, the triumphs and the challenges. He sees us in our entirety. How beautiful is that?