Even in the kitchen, Jesus knows our lives
“Mama, Mama, look at this!” This small phrase is probably one of the most repeated lines in our household these days. No matter what I’m doing, in the mind of my four-year-old it warrants interruption, whether it’s something she wants me to see or an accomplishment that her small hands have completed. Sometimes it really is an accomplishment that amazes me, and other times it’s one I might pretend to be amazed by. There are rock collections growing in our home, and habitats for imaginary fairy friends for which I have to summon up my deepest observation skills to match her wonder. And during the sightseeing of my daughter’s daily adventures, my one-year-old screeches and crows, calling for attention of his own and looking for applause for his tiny steps, or for the mountain of pillows he has climbed.
To be seen is not just a passing childhood phase of emotional need, it’s one of the deepest needs that mankind reaches for day after day, whether we’re aware of it or not. As a mom to small children, it’s one of the lessons that keeps returning to my heart in new ways in each new season—and even more so as the tasks around me repeat themselves. Their ordinary nature can begin to create tunnel vision which can bring the nagging question: “Does Jesus even see me here?”
There was a moment in my own experience not too long ago that prompted my pursuit of this topic. It brought a glimpse into what I’m coming to realize is the way God pursues us every day. “Mama, look at this poster I made!” Maren held a yellow sticky note up to me with a stick drawing of a strange creature. “This is a picture of the stuffed cat I lost! I’m going to make enough posters to put around the house so we’ll never forget what he looks like!” She wasn’t kidding. As the day went on I found sticky notes on door frames, kitchen cabinets, stair railings, light switches—wherever she could reach, she had left a tiny “photo” of her lost stuffed animal. On each one she had put the same details, and the same scribbled message that only she could decipher. When I asked her what the message said, she gave me a detailed description of Pounce the cat—so detailed you would never have known he had been missing for a long while. Maren remembered every inch of that stuffed cat.
To be seen is not just a passing childhood phase of emotional need, it’s one of the deepest needs that mankind reaches for day after day, whether we’re aware of it or not.Katherine Hansen
Jesus has been using moments like this to whisper into my heart: “I see you.” Something about the amount of detail Maren rattled off to me made me think of Jesus’ words in Luke: “But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not: ye are of more value than many sparrows” (12:7). If I let Him, He can take every tiny moment and create value from it.
In her book Adore, Sara Hagerty made this comment: “How would I live if I had seen Him smile at me or heard Him laugh at one of my quirks? How would I walk with Him now if I had smelled [His] sweat?” So now I ask myself, Would I live my daily moments differently if I had Jesus pulling weeds next to me? Would I let out that weary sigh if He was next to me as I pushed the stroller up the hill to our house, while carrying a tricycle that my child decided she was too tired to ride anymore? If He was standing there as my dish dryer, would I hope that the dish pile would never end, so I could continue telling Him how my day had gone and hear His favorite part of what He experienced too? How would each moment be different if I actually took His word for it—that He really does see me. That He not only has every hair recorded in His memory, but that He values every moment with me, whether exciting or mundane.
In Psalm 139, David wrote,
O Lord, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it altogether. You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high; I cannot attain it.
David’s words, “such knowledge is too wonderful for me,” could very easily be my own. The ability to comprehend the wonder of who God really is, is often far beyond me. And yet, He knows this. He is aware that I can only take in a small amount at a time in this stretching season of little people. He also knew this from the very beginning and knew He would send Jesus to get down to our level. He knew from the beginning that we would need not just a Savior, but an Emmanuel: a God who is with us, who uses sticky notes placed by tiny hands to show He sees us in every detail.
When I come around the corner, in answer to a little boy’s screeching call, I can watch and see the physical change his body undergoes the moment he knows I see him. His body fills with excitement and his face fills with joy. So now I can practice the same attitude, both in body and mind, when I might doubt that I am seen in the ordinary moments. There may not always be the same physical excitement that I see in a toddler, but there can be inner expectation and connection by simply whispering, “How do you see me in this moment, Lord?” So often this act of faith in uttering that short prayer turns my perspective to one of joy—joy at the thought that He makes a tiny moment of short-sightedness into one of worship.
During this season of Harvest and Christmas, it can become so easy to plow through the commitments and holiday preparations, that we miss out on the profound reality that we have a God who is with us. He sees the chaos that our world is in, and He sees the chaos that our hearts may be experiencing. He sees the pain we carry, and He sits there with us in it. And if we’re in a season of tunnel vision, He’ll find ways of putting sticky notes all around—notes to remind us to look up and rejoice, because we are Seen: His eyes have never faltered or looked away.
–Trained as a Registered Nurse, Katherine is mother of two small children and with her husband David is a strong supporter at Fairwood Bible Chapel.