|Photo by Tracee Persiko|
I remember in high school when my crush talked to me for the first time in the hallway. I remember what it felt like to be stunned and looking around to see if he was really talking to me. AND he was an upper class man…that’s right!
I remember being stunned that he was sweet and a really a nice guy. Who knew he could hold a conversation and be normal. I couldn’t believe he was asking me about basketball. He knew I played basketball!?
My crush had always been this untouchable person that I would catch glimpses of between classes and at lunch. Now he was not only the guy I saw, but the one who also saw me.
Feeling seen always runs deep. It matters a lot, and is honey to the soul.
My heart is always tender towards the Samaritan woman that Jesus talks to by the well. This woman had gone her whole life only knowing the sounds of scoffing and disdain. She was not a respected woman. She had no friends in town and was known for being “loose” with the men. Due to her less than appealing reputation, this Samaritan woman chose the hottest times of day when no one was around to get her chores done.
One day and one conversation with Jesus changed her life.
Jesus was a Jew who was not socially permitted to talk to a Samaritan woman. That didn’t matter to him. Jesus only saw a person to love.
While this woman was drawing water from the well, Jesus stopped and talked to her. He talked to her about life, relationships, and faith. He passed no judgments, but extends an invitation of new life and love. Jesus made her feel seen.
I don’t think it’s ironic that when the woman went back into town to tell people about Jesus that she chose these words, "Come see a man who told me everything I did. In my head I always continue the statement with, “and still loves me.”
For the first time this lost and invisible woman felt valued and known – she felt seen and accepted. Someone saw her. Someone accepted her sin and mess of a life and loved her. This changed everything.
Every one of us is a mess. Everyone is in need of value and love. Making someone feel seen changes everything. It did for me and the Samaritan woman. It’s healing.
In what ways have you experienced feeling seen?
How can you make someone feel seen?