After I posted my post yesterday a few things happened to play into this conversation….
- I received a couple of emails from someone I would think knows me fairly well. This person knows that I am a pastor. I am ordained. I thought she knows that I really struggle with not being able to work in my profession while I am in Berlin. She knows that I have plenty to do here but I continuously search for ways to serve out my call and she sent me two emails about possible job leads….in childcare and personal assistant work. And while I do love my nannying gigs and the kiddos that I work with, I am not looking for more nanny gigs at this time. Turns out I am in highish demand for this kind of work and my hours are full, I still want time to write and ponder and be in school and it’s not pastoral ministry in the same way. I did not feel seen in that moment. In fact, it felt….well, it felt as though this person didn’t know me at all. Being seen means being seen for what we offer the world not just a bit here and there. (It is also a glimpse into typical immigrant …here ya go mentality…rather than seeing what the whole person offers to us.)
- I am loving writing this “People I know” series because it a) allows me to write about these fantastic people in my life and gloat a bit about them and b) it allows them to see how much I appreciate and see them. Every person so far has talked about how they have loved seeing how I see them. I hope that these people feel seen in this small blog post that only glimpses at how fantastic and wonderful they are. Perhaps we should show each other that we see each other more often. Please tell someone in your circle how awesome they are today.
- Being seen is also about allowing ourselves to be seen by others. In a conversation with a dear friend (who is soon to be featured in People I know) she talked to me about what it means for her to allow people to see her and then being seen and how important that is. How true! Part of the process of being seen is allowing my own self to be seen. it is putting myself out there in a vulnerable and precious way with all of the risk that comes along with that. It is taking the risk that you may not like what you see when I show myself and yet that is part of who I am as well and should be acknowledged. We all have failings as well that when seen, connects us even closer to those seeing us.
I am sure there is more to come but what would you add? What do you see that I don’t? How do you yearn to be seen? Do you want to be seen?