Irene likes to narrate what she’s up to.
“I am building a train track!”
“I am reading this book!”
“I am going outside!”
If she had a news feed, she’d be guilty of oversharing.
But what this is reveals is the inherent human need to be seen and recognized. We all long to know that we are significant; that we matter to someone. Each one of us will languish if we don’t have others supporting, helping, and celebrating our being. It’s why solitary confinement is so damaging and terrible a punishment.
When Irene tells me all these things, she’s relying on me to be awake to the fact that she’s there. I must be awake to her needs, desires, her life. I’m the first person who can teach her how valuable and seen she is. I’m helping her to learn that God sees here in this same way.
And we must practice this within ourselves as well. When we practice seeing ourselves as what we truly are–icons of Christ–we acting in accordance with the reality that our worth is beyond measure. It is a vulnerable undertaking, because we are both incredibly small and incredibly valuable, meaning we must rest in God.
And He has already decided what we are worth. He has already truly seen us.