Hope Heals Camp: When We’re Seen


That was the word written underneath my plate at the Hope Heals banquet. 

Other people had words like beloved, cherished, known. All three of our kids picked up their plates to find the word worthy. 

But seen felt particularly meaningful to me. 

Earlier in the week, Marilee slept through breakfast because she was coming down with a cold. She missed her group’s first activity of the morning, and I accompanied her to their time of worship. She didn’t really want to be there. Her shoulders slumped a little. 

And then Jonah, a boy in her group, noticed that she had joined them. He came over with a big smile, and welcomed her by putting his arm around her with a little squeeze. She straightened up. A few minutes later, she told me she didn’t want to go back to the room and rest. She wanted to be with her group for the day. 

Marilee hugs a young friend inside a building at camp

She was seen and loved by Jonah, and it changed her. 

I thought of Jonah’s simple gesture of welcome when I received the word seen that final night. 

I suppose one of my deepest fears is that I would be seen for who I truly am, and then I would be rejected.

But what if God sees me for who I truly am and welcomes me with open arms? What if I too am seen and loved?

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