FAITH: We See You, We Hear You, We Support You
There are some phrases we have come to use in our cultural lexicon recently which should cause anyone who pays attention to understand the necessity of seeing and hearing others. “We see you, or I hear you,” are simple yet profound ideas of not only the value of humanity, but also the need people have in life to be noticed and valued. I have seen this same concept expressed this way, “We see you, we hear you, we support you,” when it referred to those working on the front lines in the medical field in the worst parts of the Covid-19 pandemic. The same could be said to teachers and parents during the same time frame. Obviously, there are numerous vocations and groups who could benefit from this kind of support. This then makes me wonder, how could this sentiment be more than words and be extended to the people we see in our lives every day?
Unfortunately, it is easy for people to become unseen or unheard. We have seen this articulated in large scale ways over the past several years in cultural awareness of past oppression or suppression. It is good for us to not only become more aware, but also more concerned about the sexual abuse and wrongs women have faced in our society which tragically has often been either disregarded or swept under the proverbial rug of power structures. This is also true for the physical, sexual, and emotional abuse of children which is not just performed by adults, but especially when it comes to bulling is harshly done by a child’s own peers. Of course, we cannot deny or overlook the atrocious racism and prejudice existing in our nation which has shamefully been poured out on millions of people in our history for no other reason than color of skin, different language, or cultural uniqueness.
Friends, in my humble opinion, the wrongs of our past do indeed need to be brought to light. As well, those who have been the victims of flawed and imperfect human systems and general evil, “we see you, we hear you, and we support you!” However, with my sentiment of seeing, hearing and support, I continue to be grieved by the reaction many have towards our past and current atrocities by tearing down the fabric of our national unity by trying to cancel history, events, and even people. Where we are currently failing in seeing, hearing, and supporting is there is no concept of forgiveness, reconciliation, or transformation for the better good. This does not solve the problems of the past, it simply causes more tension, more hate, and more of the us and them mentality and completely nullifies the seeing, hearting, and supporting.
Maybe the better process, or a more comprehensive approach is to value, respect, and love the people we see every day and meet along the pathway of our lives. Maybe if you and I would see, hear, and support those who live in the margins, who are often ignored, we would be better at heading off abuse or prejudice one person and one situation at a time. The only way to see, hear, and support others is to not be so concerned about being seen, heard, or supported. I have heard something like this before, “do unto others as you would want them to do to you!” Maybe we could see, hear, and support others, as we want to be seen, heard, and supported. And this is not just for the people we like!
I leave you with this: ‘So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. ‘ Philippians 2:1-4
You are Valued and Loved, Pastor Brad
Rev. Brad McKenzie is Lead Pastor at Orange First Church of the Nazarene, 3810 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive in Orange.