I had the creepiest thing happen to me Thursday night.
Actually, it wasn’t THAT creepy. I’ve definitely had creepier things happen. But for some reason, this freaked me out. Just a little.
It was a little after 8:00 pm, and I was driving home after a Picnic planning meeting. My mind was a thousand miles away, though. It was definitely not on driving. I was in extreme Auto-Pilot mode.
I turned the corner off of Highway 17 onto the road that leads toward my home in Seaford. The car was silent. My thoughts were blaring. But a noise cut through those blaring thoughts. A notification from my phone, which I had carelessly tossed into the passenger seat for my drive home. But this notification sound was unlike the ones I am used to hearing—for incoming email, or calls, or tweets, or from MapMyWalk, as friends post their exercise. Nope, this notification I had never heard before, and–admittedly–I jumped just a bit.
I grabbed by phone to see what created that obnoxious sound (Yeah, I know. No lectures about not looking at my phone while driving, please). I saw that it was from Walgreen’s (the pharmacy) of all things, and I tossed it back into the seat next to me.
When I got home, checked the notification. What in the world did they want? I didn’t have any prescriptions I was waiting for, and besides, I get texts when they are ready for pick-up, not notifications from Walgreen’s directly.
The message I read went something like this (I wish I had somehow saved it, so you could get a sense of its “creepiness”):
We notice that you are near a Walgreen’s Store right now! Why don’t you stop by and see what savings and good value we have to offer you tonight!”
Whoa. No one knew where I was. I don’t even think my kids knew where I was Thursday night, except that I had to go to a meeting. But Walgreen’s knew.
That’s Twilight Zone stuff right there, my friends.
Later that night, when I crawled into bed after an exhausting day of work, parenting, committee meeting, and all the other “stuff” that comprises a day, I got to thinking about that notification. And I got to thinking about my life. And, I got to thinking about my God.
Like I said, there are times in life where nobody knows where I am at.
Where I am at physically:
- if I go for a drive
- when I’ve hiked alone to deserted beaches in Hawaii
- times that I’ve gone for walks at the park alone
Where I am at mentally:
- times of fear
- times of despair
- times of thinking I am a failure
Where I am at Spiritually:
- times when I have sinned against God and others
- times when I have doubted His goodness
- times when I have stubbornly and sinfully held on to unbelief
- times of silence from God
- ….but also times when I have been overcome with gratitude for His grace
- times when I’ve been so overwhelmed by His presence, protection and provision that it has wrecked me
All these examples of times when no one else knows where I am. And yet, there is one who knows and sees it all. My God. The God who Sees and Knows.
And, honestly, sometimes that bothers me. It really does. Because sometimes it would just be easier, or it seems safer, or SOMETHING—I can’t quite find the words—but to have the ability to hide from God. To have an Invisibility Cloak, like Harry Potter. Oh, I am self-centered enough to want Him to see and know my pain and to fix it. But what about the times that He doesn’t fix it? In those cases, I wish He didn’t see it, because then I find myself asking “Why?? Why God, if you see the suffering of this world, why don’t you FIX IT??” And what do I do with that??
Or, worse still, what about the times that I openly or secretly sin against Him? When I am ashamed of myself; of my behavior. When I find myself shouting “Yes!” at Paul’s statement in Romans 7:15: For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.
But that’s not who God is.
And, if it was who God was, He wouldn’t be worthy of worship.
You see, it is precisely because He is a God who Sees and Knows, that I know He loves me. That He loves me so much, that He gave His son for me. That He gave His Son for the forgiveness of my sins–both those that are blatant and those that are done in the depths of my heart and mind.
Exodus 2:25 says this: God saw the people of Israel—and God knew.
This very same God who Saw the people of Israel in their suffering and Knew, sees me in my suffering and Knows. He Knows.
- My deepest fears.
- My deepest sins.
- My deepest dreams.
- My deepest longings.
- My deepest needs.
A key moment, among many key moments, in my journey toward trust and faith in God, was the realization that He Knows my name. He knows who I am! That fact, alone, wrecked me. For so long I had thought that if—IF there was a God, He certainly did not know who I was. But He does. He knows my name. He knows me thoroughly. As in Psalm 139 thoroughly. He has searched me and knows me. And He knows you, too. And loves you.
That, my friends, is a God who sees and Knows—and loves.
I turned off the location finder thingy on my phone. I don’t want Walgreen’s knowing where I am. But I will continue to fight the urge to hide from my God. That’s a futile attempt, anyway. A waste of energy. Instead, I will rejoice that I am Seen, Known, and Loved. And Forgiven.