In Genesis 16, Hagar names God, ‘The God who sees me,’ because she says she has now seen the one who sees her. God had found her in the desert and told her that she would give birth to a fiercely independent son, a son who would be called Ishmael, meaning God hears. As the text does not indicate that Hagar had asked for anything specific from God, it appears that God heard her desires before she even voiced them. It is no wonder that she feels both seen by God and that she has seen God.
The God who sees me is a very powerful image of God, and it is an image that I sometimes wish was more part of my relationship with God. God often seems so absent. Despite knowing that I can pray to God and read the Bible whenever, and despite believing that God speaks through both these means, alongside of speaking through other people, my every day life seems to lack the wonder and expectation that God does see me, that God hears, and that I will see God.
The question I was thus left asking at the end of the study of Genesis 16 was what would happen if I imagined more often how God might delight in seeing me (the same way that I delight in simply seeing my daughter)? And what if we simply expected to see God more often? The Reformed tradition believes that God is already present and working at the university; this passage challenges me to develop eyes to see that.