One comment was all it took, “And underneath, I hear the emotion.”
My soul was seen.
It was an astute observation from a teammate, summarizing what I shared with our team about my experiences in 2014. He’s a tender hearted guy, this one, and he always manages to look underneath the surface.
I teared up in response (I tear up at car commercials and national cheerleading competitions and – oh, you name it, I get verklempt). My emotions kept bubbling to the surface as we went around the room and others shared how they heard me too. Just when I thought maybe I had it together I leaked again.
It’s unnerving, being seen like that. I felt exposed. Undone. But the tears were happy ones. They were “you see me” tears.
It’s a powerful thing, for a soul to be seen.
Our souls are the truest parts of us, and they long to be seen. We want people to know who we really are, but so often we hide behind masks and false selves that we feel are more acceptable to the world. We aren’t invited to share from the deeper, truer places in ourselves. There’s no space. No time. But sometimes, the soul makes itself known, and if we’re fortunate the person who witnesses it says, “I see who you are, and I welcome it.” And our souls are blessed.
I don’t feel that as often as I need. In the busyness of being a mama, it’s easy to miss those places where I could be seen by others. It takes intentionality of time and vulnerability – hard to find in carpool pass offs and hallway greetings and church meet and greets. This time with our team reminded me how important it is to seek out time with the dear people in our lives who see, hear, understand, know, and love us.
One is my favorite names for God is found in Genesis 16, when Hagar has been sent away from Sarai and Abram. God meets her there in her sadness and pain, and blesses her. “So she called the name of the Lord who spoke to her, “You are a God of seeing,” for she said, “Truly here I have seen him who looks after me.” Therefore the well was called Beer-lahai-roi (which means “well of the Living One who sees me”). He is El Roi, the God who sees our souls.It does our souls good to be seen – by God and by others. In the absence of the times when we can be with others who see our souls, we remember there is always One who does. Sit at that well of the Living One who sees us and let your soul be refreshed.
Who sees your soul?