Seen and Yet Perplexed
Have you wondered if God sees the wrong, personal and in your home, our world? I’m comparing Hagar and Martha, two women distraught and dissatisfied. God saw them both, brought gentle words, reassurance and courage, made them more wise.
She gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me, for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.” Genesis 16: 13 NIV
Is the mystery of knowing God is sovereign a contradiction at times? Have you experienced uncertainty that has led to a feeling of loneliness? Is there some situation you feel held captive by and alone? Have you found yourself in a relationship or a pattern that either has you trapped or do you somehow feel you contributed to it and thus, belong?
Women, especially mothers who are in unhealthy relationships are in complex situations. Unhealthy relationships that entrap us are very misunderstood. There is no easy answer to the question, “Why didn’t you leave?”, a question no woman should be asked.
This is a question for which many women have no answer. The layers and the reasons are hard to explain. Abusive relationships, emotionally or unhealthy in other ways have a way of numbing a woman to the day to day. Once women are able to find the strength to leave, there’s no value in revisiting the rationale for staying. I suppose I’m saying “Don’t ask.” along with “Stop asking yourself.”
Women who find themselves in situations apart from God, from friends and family are trapped, they are perplexed.
“Perplexed”, the meaning is completely baffled, very puzzled.
I think of two women in the Bible, Hagar and Martha. Hagar, because she found herself the bait of a tormented woman who wanted her way and got it. Hagar, the servant who provided a longed-for child in exchange for provision found herself cast aside and alone, having to make the decision to allow her son to die alone so she did not have to witness the loss.
Martha, who was a friend of Jesus’s and had been gently warned of her priorities found herself at a loss over why her brother was dying and Jesus had not yet come.
I wonder if it occurred to them, they got what they deserved; many women do, believe they deserve abuse and for that abuse to go unnoticed by God.
I pray you’ve never thought this way.
I pray you never do again.
Hagar and Martha were fully seen and known by God. The mystery? The perplexing thing? Why so long, God? Why was my desperation needed for you to come through? These are questions much like the question posed to a victim of abuse for which we won’t have answers.
There is comfort in comparing our stories, not just with Biblical women; but, with others. We intersect women with dropped faces and lost dispositions, babies in their arms, children tagging along. We can offer understanding, a smile, a knowing nod and prayer.
We can find a way to relate to others who are trapped in perplexing situations while waiting for God’s rescue. We can assure them it will come.
We can give praise alongside when it does.
Father, our God who sees and knows, help us to help one another. Help us to respond with an offer of connection rather than question. We are comforted by the knowledge of being seen by you, even if we do not fully understand. Make us open to the hardship of others without judgement. Remind us of your ever-present gaze. We are thankful to be able to say, because of mercy, in Jesus’ name, Amen.
The two paintings in this post will be available on April 1st through The Scouted Studio’s Emerging Artist Show. Other art can be found at http://www.lisaannetindal.me