She (Hagar) gave this name to the LORD who spoke to her: ‘You are the God who sees me,’ for she said, ‘I have now seen the One who sees me’ (Genesis 16:13, NIV).

Friend To Friend

Everyone wants to be noticed, to be cared for, to be loved.  How my heart breaks with David’s words, “No one cares for my soul” (Psalm 142:4).  He is crying out during one of the darkest times in his life and felt all alone in his struggle to survive.  We might expect to hear those words from the crowded city streets as men and women scurry about in their power suits off to make the next deal.  We wouldn’t be surprised to hear those words from a vagrant huddled under a bridge with all his worldly possessions stuffed in a plastic grocery bag.  But would we expect it from the person sitting beside us in the church pew, the co-worker in the next cubicle, or the mother of three next door?

While flying from the east coast to the west coast, I watched an in flight movie, a cleaned up version of What Women Want staringMel Gibson.  Mr. Marshal (Mel Gibson) worked at an advertising firm with a host of busy men and women bustling about in their own little self-absorbed worlds. In a strange twist of events, Mr. Marshal is “electrically altered” when he slips in the bathroom and falls into the bathtub, along with a hair dryer.  When he regains consciousness after his shocking experience, he has the ability to read women’s minds and hear their thoughts.  With his new perceptive powers, he lands a huge Nike advertising account and wins the heart of the leading lady…of course.  But there is one poignant sideline of the movie that grabbed my heart.

In the movie, one young nondescript woman in his office had thoughts that stopped Marshal in his tracks. What if I just jumped out the window?  Would anyone noticeI could be gone for days and no one would notice…until the files started piling up.  Then they’d say, ’Where’s the geek with the glasses who carries the files?’

No one did notice the errand girl who refused to make eye contact with her fellow employees, except  Marshal, who could hear her thoughts.

One day, the young women (who we learn is named Erin), doesn’t show up for work?

“Where’s Erin?” Marshal asked as he notices a pile of files sitting on her desk.

“I don’t know,” someone replies.  “She didn’t show up for work today.”

Fearing the worst, Marshal locates Erin’s address and dashes out to stop her from ending her life.

Bursting into her apartment Marshal sees a suicide letter lying on the table and his heart sinks.  A startled Erin walks into the room.

“Mr. Marshal, what are you doing here?”

“I’m glad I got here before you hurt yourself?” he replied.

“What makes you think I was going to hurt myself?”

“I just sensed it,” he answered.

“Really?  You sensed it?  That’s not good.”

Then Marshal brilliantly changes course.  “The real reason I’m here is to offer you a job.  You know we got the Nike account and we were wondering who would be a real spitfire to work on this project…”  Marshal offers Erin a job and rescues her from the despair of feeling unwanted, unloved, and unimportant.

I’m not suggesting that you watch the movie.  After all, it was a cleaned up airline version.  However, I am suggesting that you ponder the situation.  I believe that men and women walk past us every day, just like Erin in this movie, who feel that they have no significant purpose in this world.  Like Erin, I know that there are many who feel that their sudden disappearance would cause little fanfare or concern.  It might be the woman who passes you in the hall at work, the rebellious looking teen who shuffles by you at the mall, or the businessman dashing to his next appointment.  It takes so little to let someone know that they are significant.  We have the ability to give someone hope by offering a simple word of acknowledgement.