Kara's Collection: Seeing the unseen

from an article originally posted February 27, 2015...

Sunday was a glorious day! After a good weekend of venturing outside, entertaining visitors, and lots of smiles, Kara made it to church for the first time in what I think has been months. She had told me that she was going to try to make it, yet nothing prepared my heart for the joy of seeing her come up the aisle to her seat next to Jason, right where she belongs.

It was fun watching the communion line and seeing people’s happy expressions as they tried to catch Kara’s eye, some even walking over to hug her. And then after the service! As one might expect, she was blissfully mobbed by friends who were so glad to see her and wanted to take advantage of the opportunity to hug her and chat. It was beautiful to watch, and my heart overflowed with gratefulness.

I am proud of our little church family, proud of how well they have loved the Tippetts, thankful for how well they have loved me and my family. But I am not naïve—I know there are surely people who feel left out and like they are unnoticed. And if there are people who go unnoticed within the safe walls of our church, how many more are there outside church who feel unseen, unknown, and unloved?

One of my favorite stories in the Bible is the woman in Mark 5 who had suffered for 12 years. She had heard about Jesus but instead of pushing through the crowd to meet him and plead her case, she simply reached out far enough to touch Jesus’ garment. She was healed immediately, but Jesus didn’t let it end there—he looked for her. He looked for this sick woman whom people surely overlooked every day. This woman who was a second-rate citizen at best in her culture and had an illness that made her unclean. Jesus noticed her. He healed her. He saw her. He knew her heart. He loved her.

Kara is an amazing example of someone who sees the unseen. I have heard so many stories of how she reached out to people who were in a new place or felt out of place somewhere and she approached them to reach out and befriend them. She did the same for me, and I am faced with the question, How can I spread the love that has freely been bestowed on me? Who is waiting to be noticed? Who is in the shadows hoping for a kind hand of friendship to be extended?

The truth is the unseen are all around me, from the woman who uses our front yard to sleep off a rough night to the shy mom I shyly smile at while we’re picking up our babies at the church nursery. Who can you think of who would appreciate your reaching out? Who in your life could use a friend? What would it mean for you to look for and notice someone who might otherwise feel unnoticed? If you feel unnoticed, what would it look like for you to reach out to someone else who might feel unseen?