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Mia Pohlman

Mia Pohlman is a writer for rustmedia, producing content for Flourish Magazine, B Magazine, TBY and Mind + Body.

You are God who sees me

The other day in church, I looked up and saw a little girl wearing a crown. It was a silver plastic one, bedecked with rhinestones, and she wore it atop her head unironically, proudly, straightforwardly, with a purple dress. It sat atop her head, and she moved about with an energetic air of importance, standing, whispering to her mother, helping her sister. She wore her crown and knew her place -- one of belonging, responsibility, participation.

She reminded me of my own place as a daughter of the King. Although I think that phrase has sometimes been appropriated for cheesy means, the truth of it is powerful: a good king listens to his daughter. He receives her ideas with seriousness, considers them thoroughly, implements the ones that will bring forth justice. He gives her power to lead, opportunity to transform, room to try and to fail and to succeed. A good king loves his daughter deeply, respects her, hears her. Raises her up to succeed him. She is secure.

I think of the faces of the king and queen in the movie "Tangled" each time they receive news of their lost-and-then-found daughter, Rapunzel: deep love. These are the feelings of God toward me.

How many times, though, am I the lost daughter who forgets I am deeply wanted? How many times do I pray like I have to try so hard to be heard?

In this homily for the third Sunday of Lent, Father Bill Kottenstette said when God reveals God's name as "I AM" to Moses, God is telling him, "'I shall be for you who you need me to be. You can tell my presence by what I do for you.'"

Genesis 16:7-13 is an example of this. In these verses, God hears Hagar. She is a slave, she has been given regardless of her feelings to her owner's husband to bear him a child, and then she has been severely mistreated for succeeding in the very thing she was commissioned regardless of her own will to do. Powerless and in deep pain, I imagine, she runs away.

God finds her.

God calls her by her name and her position and asks her one of the most beautiful questions in Scripture: "Where have you come from, and where are you going?"

God listens to her, then blesses her, telling her she is to name her son Ishmael: "God has heard." She gives God a name: "You are God who sees me."

This is a story about God seeing the depths of a woman's heart and answering them. A story of God being for us who we need God to be.

It reminds me of Deuteronomy 1:31: "You saw how the LORD, your God, carried you, as one carries his own child, all along your journey until you arrived at this place."

In his homily, Father Bill tells us: "Talk to God. Talk to him as a friend. Talk to him as a father or mother, a brother, a sister, whatever you want. Find out what he's doing for you, how he's shaping and forming you."

We can talk and listen in security that we, daughters and sons of the King, have his full attention. We are heard, seen, loved. We can wear our crown.

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