Aug 16, 2012

El Roi ~ The God Who Sees Me

I visited Jacksonville Beach early one morning on a recent trip to the Mayo Clinic, dug out my journal and wrote my heart out.

"... The doctor says I have inflammation and pain deep inside my chest wall.  Which is precisely where I store all my secrets.  Who didn't see that coming?..."
I began to lament, weep and carry-on as is appropriate for a solitary early morning where waves crash at one's feet.  I explored every little nook and cranny of my pain-stricken core and tried to flush it all out like a minor eye irritation. 

Just as tears and sweat were hard to differentiate, a man came up beside me and set up his chair.  I bristled.  Seriously?  This entire beach is wide open and he sets up right beside me in an obvious moment of much needed privacy?  I even took a picture - mine is the green chair on the left, wet with tears; his, the right.

Intensely aware of a human presence invading my stream-of-consciousness,.....
I quickly hurried through the rest of my lament, slapping tears off my face like gnats and ending with a little something like this:
Regret and shame flow through my already thickened blood (MPD), mucking it up.  The tempest rages inside me.  Why wouldn't there be inflammation?   I am inflamed.  Yet I feel the hand of God on my life.  I feel him say "This is how I made you."  I see how He has created a space for me to live, to use my abilities, to produce.  But am I productive?  Have I done anything beneficial?  Have I done anything right?  Why am I here?  Who am I?"
If we're honest, most of us have these thoughts once in awhile.  I put my pen down as a man walking past with a metal detector peaked my curiosity. I wanted to talk to him, to write down his story.  So I did.

We talked, I took copious notes.  I returned to my tear-streaked chair and looked at the ocean.  The guy next to me, sitting so close, invading my space, that guy looked over and said,
"I know you.  You're a writer."

I choked as the breath was knocked out of me.  I furiously paged through the journal looking for the last words I wrote.  Yep.  "Who am I?"

 The stranger who came too close answered the cry of my heart. 

That's how God works sometimes.  El Roi - the God who sees. 

Genesis 16:13 "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.” 

Psalm 139:3 "You sift and search out my path and my lying down, and You are acquainted with all my ways."

By the way, when I took the picture of the two sad beach chairs sitting way too close together?  This was the view behind my back.  A bunch of surfers having a great time.  Sometimes we just have to turn around and change our view, eh?

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