Sometimes, when my child falls down, I pretend I don’t notice. Please don’t judge me. I’ve come to realize that, if they think I didn’t see, they often carry on with whatever they were doing prior to the fall. If I make eye contact, however, weeping and wailing may commence.
Sure, I’m watching out of the corner of my eye. But no eye contact – that’s the rule. This parenting tactic has served me well over the years. Here’s the thing, though:
This doesn’t apply to grownups.
You know what I’m talking about. You hear that someone is going through some stuff and you’re afraid of being uncomfortable, so you avoid her. You’re worried you may say the wrong thing, so you avoid her. You have enough of your own stuff to deal with, so you avoid her.
When we see another woman take a tumble, we don’t pretend like we didn’t notice! We don’t avoid eye contact hoping we can all just carry on like normal. Let’s just go ahead and face it: if your eyes connect, there may be some weeping and that’s okay.
If we love Jesus like we say we do: we will not look away. Jesus never looked away. Not from the leper or the lame. Not from the pharisee or the prostitute. Not from you or me.
But you, O Lord, know me; you see me… (Jeremiah 12:3)
Hurting women don’t need us to watch them out of the corner of our eyes. They need us to stare into their eyes, hug their necks, and shoulder their burdens with them.
It’s easy at first. We post a prayer request for them. We take up a donation for them. It happened to be a Saturday so, perhaps, we drop by and sit with them. <—These are all good things, by the way!
But it doesn’t stop there. They still need to be seen on Tuesday when the baby is crying and you’re trying to make tacos. They still need to be loved on as the weeks pass and everyone else’s life as returned to normal.
Don’t look away when it’s no longer convenient. Don’t look away when it’s uncomfortable. Don’t look away because you don’t know what to say.
It’s okay to say, “I don’t know what to say, but I see you and I won’t look away.
Don’t look away.
You are loved. <3