She was lonely, mistreated, and scared.
Running from her community, her family, and her home, the anguish and pain left by the decisions of others most likely made her wonder about her identity, significance, value, and worth. In the blink of an eye, as is often the case, her world was turned upside down, and the ones who were supposed to take care of her didn’t seem to care at all.
Heartbroken and homeless, this beauty fled into the wilderness, forgotten by all but One.
Her lying, lustful, and passive caretaker had impregnated this precious girl and left her to fend for herself. Her caretaker’s wife, in a jealous fit of rage, demanded that she be removed from the household. Her caretaker didn’t intervene to halt the ensuing madness, so she did the one thing that all of us tend to do at one time or another: She ran away from home into the enslaving embrace of anxiety, fear, loneliness, and shame.
I think I can safely say - we can all relate to aspects of this girl’s story. Probably not every detail, but its essence, I believe, will resonate with every single one of us.
Things have been done to us, and we have done things to others that have led us to run far from home into the wilderness of heartache.
Maybe we’ve never literally run away, but emotionally, mentally, spiritually, relationally … We know all too well those people and places that we have actively sought to escape and those people and places we have actively sought as our refuge and shelter. This precious girl’s story is our story, too, if we pause to imagine even for a moment.
I ran away from home once. To be more accurate, I biked away from home. It was short-lived, but it nearly gave my parents a heart-attack. I was young and restless. Out of concern and love, my parents had denied my grubby little paws access to a violent video game. In retaliation, I packed a brown paper bag filled with a few dollar bills and rode fast and hard down the dirt road that led from my family’s home into the heart of our little village named Armada. Not knowing what to do or where to go from there, I called my folks from the local grocery store and asked them to pick me up. They came for me, they saw me, and with a fierce forgiveness & a ferocious embrace, they brought me home.
I have run away from Home many, many times since then and Home always seems to come looking for me to wrap me up in a fierce forgiveness & a ferocious embrace. I have fled into the shadowlands of failure & fear, sin & shame, anxiety & angst, loneliness & languish infinitely more than 490 times. I know firsthand what it’s like to be shrouded and surrounded in anything and everything I could ever possibly need, only to cast it all aside in the wild country. I have auditioned for and played the part of the wanderer countless times - but every. single. time. - this Home of wanderers comes to wrap me up in a fierce forgiveness & a ferocious embrace. He’s known by many names, but one stands out among the rest in our current context, especially as we turn our attention again to our damsel in distress, the cast-aside girl who wound up in the wilderness.
The One Who Sees came to bring her Home.
Wrapped in the disguise of an angel, The One Who Sees asked our heartbroken heroine two heartfelt questions, questions that He gently and tenderly asks us as we wander through our own wilderness:
Where have you come from?
Where are you going?
I believe with all my heart that The One Who Sees knew very well where His beloved wanderer had fled from and where she was headed. He knew, but He wanted her to know that He knows. He saw, but He wanted her to see that He sees. He heard, but He wanted her to hear that He hears. He felt for her, but He wanted her to feel that He feels. For her benefit. For her freedom. For her healing. For her sake. He fled the comforts of His own Home to look for her, find her, pursue her, and wrap her up in a fierce forgiveness & a ferocious embrace.
The One Who Sees came to bring her Home.
The One Who Sees came to be her Home.
You might know Him by a different name, but The One Who Sees, sees you, too. He sees you in your anxiety and offers acceptance. He sees you in your fear and offers friendship. He sees you in your loneliness and offers loyalty. He sees you in your shame and offers shelter. To the ones still seeking, still wandering, still restless, still homeless, He cries out, “I am still seeking, still pursuing, still loving, still relentlessly & recklessly chasing you with a fierce forgiveness & ferocious embrace! I am still your Home. I have always been your Home. I will always be your Home.”
The One Who Sees comes to bring you Home.
The One Who Sees comes to be your Home.
In this Home, we rest our weary hearts, and are still.
~ For more details of our heroine and her Hero, I invite you to read Genesis 16 & John 1.
~ After you read, I invite you to listen to Kari Jobe’s song, “Here.”