The God Who Sees Me

Hagar and Ishmael

I cannot remember when I first heard God described as “The God Who Sees Me”, but I have just discovered that the phrase comes from Genesis 16:13.

[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.”

Hagar was the concubine of Abraham (aged 86), and bore him his son Ishmael. The angel of the Lord said to Hagar:

“You are now pregnant
and you will give birth to a son.
You shall name him Ishmael,
for the Lord has heard of your misery.
He will be a wild donkey of a man;
his hand will be against everyone
and everyone’s hand against him,
and he will live in hostility
toward all his brothers.”

I have been aware for some time that God sees me as I really am. In my less vainglorious moments, I think “Poor God!”, and that then makes me think of the Cross:

Poor God, in deed.

About Brother Burrito

A sinner who hopes in God's Mercy, and who cannot stop smiling since realizing that Christ IS the Way , the Truth and the Life. Alleluia!
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12 Responses to The God Who Sees Me

  1. kathleen says:

    Am I right in saying that the islamic religion came down to us eventually through the followers of Ishmael, of whom Mohammed was one?
    In which case the last sentence of the quote above of the words spoken in prophecy to his mother would seem to be amazingly accurate!!


  2. kathleen says:

    Brother Burrito,

    This post reminds me of the magnificent psalm 139:
    “O Lord, you have searched me and known me!
    2 You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
    you discern my thoughts from afar…”


  3. GC says:

    Dear Brother B, hold that thought!

    It sounds like something Pope Francis said recently about what we should do every once and a while, especially during adoration.

    I think he said that instead of worrying about trying to see the Lord, we should try to think about how Christ sees us.

    I think the idea behind it all was that we would appear broken and a little revolting, but more than a little loved,


  4. toadspittle says:

    “Am I right in saying that the islamic religion came down to us eventually through the followers of Ishmael, of whom Mohammed was one?”

    Very good point, Kathleen. And, though I’m far from an expert, when it comes to matters of neighbour-loving, I’d be very surprised if there wasn’t a Muslim “saint,” otherwise affectionately known as, “The Christian Slayer.”

    And the Islamic religion certainly didn’t ‘come down, ‘ to me.
    Or you, I suspect.
    For which I am thankful, (on both our accounts.)


  5. johnhenrycn says:

    Kathleen (08:24) – Let’s hope our Muslim brothers don’t get wind of the angel’s prophecy lest it provoke a repetition of the storm that followed Pope Benedict’s Regensburg lecture; but if they do, I wonder if the Angel will deliver an apology like Pope Benedict did?


  6. toadspittle says:

    The trouble with Muslims is that, when they get cross, they are inclined to cut peoples’ heads off.
    And, as Tweedledum (or is it Dee – they look so alike!?) sagely points out, “`it’s one of the most serious things that can possibly happen to one – to get one’s head cut off.”

    Toad would be happy to momentarily break his habitual vow of silence to comment on GC’s peom.
    But he has no idea where it is.


  7. GC says:

    It’s not my pome, Toad, and it’s on the youtube video, innit.


  8. GC says:

    I think the Arabs regard themselves as descendants of Ishmael, Kathleen, more than followers. It seems most people accept this.

    It appears Abraham plonked Hagar and Ishmael in Mecca some 1300 km away from Canaan. That looks like a bit of overkill. But not to worry, Abraham and Ishmael built the House of God there, which we can suppose to be the Ka’ba.

    St John Damascene was rather rude about the Arabs, whom he called variously Hagarenes, Ishmaelites and Saracens. There’s a rather long article about it all here, which you can read if you really want to after using any email address to log in:

    Don’t forget to greet any Muslim you meet on Tuesday with an appropriate New Year salutation. It’s the first day of the new year, Awal Muharram (the first day of the month of Muharram), and I get a holiday for it, about which I’m hardly complaining.


  9. kathleen says:

    Dear GC, thanks for clarifying that about the Muslims – that they are descendants rather than followers of Ishmael.

    I tried to log into your link, but they are asking for more than just an e-mail address, so couldn’t do it. 😦


  10. GC says:

    Really, Kathleen? I ignored their questions about facebook and google and chose the email option. They didn’t ask any questions about that.

    Try this link, Kathleen, and just close (click on the X) if they ask for anything more or any other boxes appear. You won’t be able to download the PDF, but you should be able to read the article in HTML.

    It’s a long article, but it does give you the background for the fall of Syria and Egypt to the Arab conquerors.


  11. kathleen says:

    Thanks GC, I’ve got it now and have started to read it – very interesting! Busy day today…. I’ll have to read the rest later.
    (The reason I couldn’t download it before was because they were asking me for your name – which I don’t know – as well as your e-mail. :-))

    Must have been dangerous, as well as humiliating and distressing, for Christians living under Islam in those days.

    Still chuckling to myself at JH‘s comment at 14:16 yesterday (trying to imagine an angel of the Lord offering an apology!!), and Toad‘s at 17:59, quoting Tweedledum (or Tweedledee). Thanks boys!


  12. GC says:

    Yes indeed, Kathleen, it’s well over 100 pages long!

    St John Damascene actually worked in the palace of the Caliph in Damascus before becoming a monk, so he should have been in the know about Hagarenes!


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