Read Luke 7:36-50.

Now, go back and read verse 44.

Jesus asks the man who is the homeowner and host, “Do you see this woman?”

Not, do you see a woman or see that a woman has interrupted the conversation among the men. Jesus doesn’t ask if Simon’s sees that a woman is present, he asks Simon if he sees this woman, this particular woman. It is a powerful question. It is a question that presses in on me as I consider the people I often fail to consider.

Do I see the particular, unique, person? The specific individual woman or man? Not any person but THIS person?

If you’ve ever wondered or maybe feared that God does not see you because you feel unseen in the world, know this: God sees you. With tender mercy and deepest knowledge of the challenges you face and the burdens you bear, God sees you. With compassionate concern and eternal plans, God sees you. Not just any person, but you.

In Genesis 16:13 we meet God as El Roi in the context of a woman who wonders if God sees her. Does God see my need as a single mother with a child for whom I cannot care? Indeed, Hagar, he sees you. Do we? Do you see this woman?

In Luke 7 we stop with Jesus as a funeral procession approaches. Most people look away or today they look at their phone. Not Jesus. Jesus looked and saw the woman, the mother of the young man who had died. Her only son. The widow of Nain wondered if God cared, if God could see her desperation, if God could make a way. Yes, ma’am, Jesus says, I see you. Do we? Do we see this woman?

In John chapter 4 we arrive with Jesus at a well near the town of Sychar in Samaria. We go to town to retrieve food and return to find him talking with a woman. We see Jesus, about whose reputation we are concerned, talking with a woman who went at midday to draw water – and she is a Samaritan. Nothing about this looks good to us. The woman wonders whether or not God sees her. Does God see the number of times she has been used and discarded by the men in her life? Does God see the pain of living in shame every day? Does God see me? Jesus dignifies her with a conversation and with the revelation that He is the Christ of God. Does God see you? Yes, daughter, God sees you! Do we? Do you see this woman?

Upon the cross, as Jesus died, his mother Mary felt the piercing of her soul. She remembered the words of Simeon in the Temple when she and Joseph had taken 8 day old Jesus to be circumcised. Simeon had said her son was destined for this – and that her own soul would be pierced. She felt it now. The grief was too much to bear. Her precious son. Even then, in the midst of his own agony, Jesus saw her. He speaks to her and to his disciple John and entrusts them to one another. Mother, I see you. Do we? Do we see this woman?

No matter where you are in life and no matter where you on earth, God sees you. Not just any woman, and not just a woman, but you. He sees you. You are beheld of God.

Today, in this moment, may that be enough.

Do you see this woman?