As I was awake most of the night the hurricane made landfall, I couldn’t help but pray. I wanted to sleep but I couldn’t. As I relentlessly perused twitter and pictures and searched for information on my sister’s neighborhood and status of electricity, I prayed. And as I closed my eyes to pray I saw them. I saw the unkept man who begged for help with the pay phone for he was blind and couldn’t see the numbers on his paper. I saw the beautiful black lady who responded to a tourist moment with grace and class. I saw the retired fire fighter sitting on the bench at the memorial. I saw the young lady who was such a fun cashier at the corner market. I saw the young man who worked at the pizza place and clearly adores my sister. I saw the older Asian woman who took our bagel order. I saw the mom pushing her child in the stroller at the farmer’s market. I saw the young black boys dancing/tumbling on the train for a buck. I saw the family playing their instruments in the subway, joined by an older jazz musician. I saw the dad teaching his son to ride his bike in Central Park. The diversity of experience, of background, of color, of style-it was all there before me in the parade of faces. The moments in which we passed each other in the city, I hardly paid them notice. In the dark and quiet moments of my bedroom, after the wind had stopped and the storm had moved from us to them, I couldn’t help but see them. And as I lay awake wondering just what was going on in their city, I prayed for them. I saw them. I lifted them up individually. I hoped for their safety and protection. I hoped for those caught in destruction and horror to find peace and solace. Even though they may never know, I saw them. In that night I was reminded of our shared humanity. Fellow person, I see you. Fellow creature who was thought out and designed and intended by God, I see you.
I don’t want to walk by and miss an opportunity to see another. There is such worth and beauty and distinction in each person no matter the circumstance we see them in. For our God has created us each in His image. For that reason, if for no other, I long to see them. I long to see you. And I too long to be seen.