Seen and Known
It is an all too familiar and sad sight to see a human being amidst an endless stream of passing cars, hoping for some kind of response. This particular day it was also raining, which added to the misery of his situation. As I got closer I saw the evident heaviness in his expression. Reaching into a bag at my feet, I triumphantly discovered the last “car pack” which held a few granola bars and a Divine Mercy image, which we store in our cars for this very purpose. I felt glad that I had something to offer him. I pulled up, rolled my window down and smiled at him. As soon as he saw me, his entire demeanor changed. His face broke into a wide smile, and he looked at me in a way that made me think he knew me.
I quickly asked his name, offered him the car pack and my prayers and moved on, since the traffic was heavy. As I crossed the bridge, I whispered a prayer for him and his face came into my mind. It was then I sensed Jesus speak within my heart, “That was Me.” Tears came to my eyes. I continued my journey and as I held this interaction in my thoughts, I began to ponder the experience of “being recognized” by someone.
Every human heart longs to be seen, known and loved by another. Maybe that man had previously met another one of my sisters on that road in the past, or maybe Jesus reached out and touched his heart simply through my simple greeting. Either way, he clearly felt known. It struck me that I, too, had somehow felt known by him. Jesus has told us that He is mysteriously present in the poor, and I was given the gift of seeing Him and being seen by Him that day on the bridge.
Sr. Thérèse, CFR