I don’t know your name but I’ve seen you. You’re there every Sunday morning like clockwork, sitting closest to the door to lead outside. Nearly every Sunday morning we’ve exchanged smiles as I rush in a panic to my seat. In all honesty, I’ve never given you much thought until today.
Because today was different. You didn’t see me pull onto the parking lot 45 minutes early because I want to get there before the parking lot’s full (I’m still working on my driving anxiety).
You didn’t me as I spent almost 20 minutes in the bathroom basically hiding because I was too afraid to join the rest of the church in small talk.
You didn’t see me as I went to four different Sunday School classes. You didn’t me as I gave up on leaving the baby in the nursery and just brought her with me.
You didn’t see as I looked around frantically when I realized one of my children weren’t with me.
You didn’t see the relief when I realized she was talking with a church friend she loves.
You didn’t see me squeeze into a small children’s chair because my three year old is too afraid to stay in Sunday School class by herself.
You didn’t see me struggle to keep the one year old quiet during class time.
You didn’t see me rush through the crowd when it was over to comfort my seven year old who had gotten lost trying to find me after her class.
You didn’t see me struggling to take my three year old to the bathroom while my one year old was laying on the floor screaming because she was tired.
You didn’t see me walk into the church service a couple of minutes late because of all of the chaos.
You didn’t see my five year crumple into a heap because she couldn’t find the person she wanted to sit with.
You didn’t see my one year old throw herself backwards in frustration because I was trying to comfort the older one.
You didn’t see my three year old pull out all the tithe envelopes.
You didn’t see my seven year old embarrassed by all that was going on.
You didn’t see me gently whisper, “Come on, let’s go” as we headed out the back door to leave.
But then you saw me. And you touched me gently on the hand and you said, “I’m really glad you’re here.”
And in that moment, my heart melted. Someone out of this large church, had noticed I was alive.
Those five words brought me back to earth. They showed me that I’m not alone. They showed me that I matter to someone, even someone I’ve never spoken to.
Thank you for seeing me. And thank you for the kindest, most meaningful words I’ve heard in a very long time.
You didn’t see me take almost half an hour to get out of the parking lot because I was so afraid.
You didn’t see me pull of the road twice on the way home because I was crying so hard I couldn’t see straight.
You didn’t see me sit in my driveway at home sobbing, afraid to go in and tell my husband why we didn’t stay for the service.
You didn’t see all of my circumstances today. But you saw me. And that meant the world!