There’s a creepy trend coming from parents and fans at high school sporting events. I heard about it at work the other day. It was supposed to be encouraging—a push for us to cheer one another on, but when my coworker first shared about it, all I could think was … creepy.
Evidently, fans (it’s not just parents) will call from the stands, “I see you, (insert player’s name).” That’s all they say. See why I think it’s creepy. I can’t even say it in my head without hearing a “Mwahhahahhaha” after it.
At any rate, it’s not supposed to be creepy. It’s supposed to be super encouraging. It’s meant to let the player know that his efforts have not gone unnoticed. That someone saw him set a pick or sacrifice for the ball or give an assist. He did something good and others noticed.
What if we did that for one another in life?
What if we yelled out to our friends and let them know we see them when they don’t give up? Would that be weird? Creepy? Or would it encourage them? Would it encourage us?
A few weeks ago, I sat across from a dear friend who has been through hell the last few years. Yes, I know that’s harsh, and no, I don’t usually curse, but if there’s hell on earth, then this friend’s been through it. She sat there sharing her story and reminding me that when all seems lost, God is. Period. She shared her brokenness, her doubts, her fears, and pain. And I don’t think I was nearly as encouraging as I should have been. Maybe I should have told her that I see her.
“I see you. I see you hurting and still trying. I see your questions, and I feel them too. I see your loss, and how you cling to hope. I am changed by seeing you.”
We are better people for noticing these things in others. It doesn’t just encourage them, but it serves to remind us of what is right and what is good. It’s the observance of a living sacrifice to truth. Look, she believes in the midst of heartache and testifies that God comforts the broken. I see it, and my hope grows.
And that hope is crucial because one day I won’t be in the stands anymore. I’ll be out there in the fight, and I’ll be the one doing the right thing—the one walking through fire, the one on display for the world to see and shout, “I see you.”
It’s really a two-way street. On the one side we share ourselves. We are the ones on display for others to see our victories and our failures. And on the other side, we see God at work in broken people. We see him loving the poor and caring for the lost. We see him in others, and we shout, “I see you.”