After I signed up to volunteer I got an e-mail asking how many hours I wanted to work and where I wanted to work. We get to flex our time so however many hours I volunteered I would get to take off the week before. I volunteered for all 6 hours. I also said I would work wherever they needed me. Big mistake.
I was told I was going to be at the food tent, but when I showed up yesterday morning I was told I would be at the soccer game. I headed out to find my spot and learned that at our game the kids would get 3 soccer balls to kick and a minute to see how many they could get in the goal. I started out with about 4 other people helping me and a couple of kids to help chase balls. We had it down to a science. One person to get names and phone numbers (it was a contest), one person to time, one person to take money and the rest of to chase the balls and get them back to the kids to see how many times they could kick it in that minute. We were having fun. We were all cheering and laughing and things were going great. Then, I learned that everybody else was leaving at 1:00. I was there until 4. I assumed someone else would be coming to help me. Eventually a teenager came and she sat in a chair and timed for me. While I took money, got people's names and numbers, lined up balls and chased and kicked and threw balls. At one point I wanted to text my supervisor and say, "I NEED HELP!!!" But, I didn't have time. By 2:30 I was wore.slap.out. I'm too out of shape for that much runnin', y'all. And bending over. Way more people were subjected to looking at my backside yesterday than should've been.
Anyway, the crowd finally died down and there were just two siblings. Their mom asked me, "How are you doing?" It took a minute for it to register that she was talking to me, because for hours the only thing people had asked me was "How much?" or "Can I do it again?" or stuff like that. She then said, "I know you are tired, you've been doing this all day." And at that moment it was like she had given me the most special gift. She saw me. Or had seen me. She had witnessed the physical bootcamp it had been for me all day and recognized that I was tired. I know that may seem very silly, and it really was no big deal. I had a lot of fun and got some much needed exercise and sun. I can barely walk today, but I know I will have good memories from yesterday. But in that moment, I was just tired. And somebody saw.
I share this because I know some people who are going through very trying circumstances right now. Real stuff, not what I experienced yesterday. The kind of trials that are scary and life changing and feel lonely. They mostly feel lonely. At times the hardest part of suffering is feeling so alone in it. Sometimes, you just need somebody to see. To recognize. To know. So that you know someone knows and cares.
I pray that we would all have our eyes opened to those who suffer in silence. But for those times when we fail, I pray that those who are suffering would know that we have a God who sees.
13 Then she called the name of the Lord who spoke to her, You-Are-the-God-Who-Sees; for she said, “Have I also here seen Him who sees me?”