Can You See?

This is an essay that I once wrote for a youth group at a church. Lately I have been feeling like I needed a reconnect with God and this was one of the only things I have ever written for Him. Felt like sharing it here.

Can You See?

He sits alone beneath a tree. A baseball glove rests in his lap. To his left lies the ball, sitting in the too-high grass. He has been waiting for some time, knowing that what he wants will once again not come. He is only eight years old, but he knows all of the excuses by now. He will hear, "I'm busy," or "Not right now," or perhaps even, "Another day, champ." Maybe there is lots of work to do. Maybe not. He begins crying, wishing that tears would bring him outside. All he wants is to play catch with his Daddy. His name is Brian. Can you see him?

She sits huddled in a closet. She hears the screaming and the bad words. They're saying terrible things to each other, and soon they will start breaking things. She wonders if Mommy will have another black eye or if Daddy might get another cut on his face. She is only ten years old, but she knows this happens any time they drink beer. Maybe the neighbors will call the police again. Maybe not. She begins crying, wishing that tears would make them stop saying such awful things. All she wants is for her parents to get along and stop drinking. Her name is Allie. Can you see her?

He is hiding in the bathroom, holding his breath, praying they don't find him. They make fun of the pink shade of his hair. They scorn his secondhand clothes. They even insult him because his mother works in the lunchroom. He is fourteen years old, but he doesn't have anyone to turn to. Everyone stays away from him. Maybe things would be easier if he wasn't around. Maybe not. He begins crying, wishing that tears would make him feel loved. All he wants is someone to call him "friend." His name is Jacob. Can you see him?

She is in a hospital bed, clutching a blanket. She is about to be given her release papers, but never the way she expected. Her mother has told her that she's young, and she will have plenty of time to try again. Her father has told her that it might be for the best. Her boyfriend actually seemed relieved. But her fingers keep tracing the name that was sewn into that blanket: Tyler. She is only twenty, and she has never felt so lost. Maybe the miscarriage was a blessing in disguise. Maybe not. She begins crying, wishing that tears would make this all a bad dream. All she wants is her baby back. Her name is Katie. Can you see her?

He sits in his car, staring ahead and focusing on the photograph of his wife and three kids. He always did his best at work, and never cut any corners. He helped out wherever he was needed and even pulled the load for others. He didn't have a college degree, but he worked his way up without skipping any steps. He doesn't understand why "downsizing" would send him home with his last paycheck. He is thirty, and has no idea how else he will provide. Maybe he will find another job to support his family. Maybe not. He begins crying, wishing that tears would give him work. All he wants is to make his family proud. His name is David. Can you see him?

She sits alone on the edge of the bed, staring at her hands. She is holding her wedding band, tarnished after all of these years. She remembers walking down the aisle and making vows with him. She remembers bringing him his sons. Now all she can hear is his voice on the machine, telling her that it's over, and he is happier with someone new. She is thirty-five, and her heart has never hurt so badly. Maybe things will be better with change. Maybe not. She begins crying, wishing that the tears would make it easier to explain to her sons. Her name is Julia. Can you see her?

He sits alone in his house, staring at all that was left behind. So many had come to see him, and pay tribute to her. They told meaningful stories of her life. They recalled funny tales she'd mentioned. They brought food. But even before they had left he felt totally alone. He is forty,

and the woman he loved was no longer here. Maybe the memories of her smile and laugh would be enough to keep him warm. Maybe not. He begins crying, wishing that the tears would give him more time. All he wants is to see her walk through the door. His name is John. Can you see him?

She sits in a stiff recliner, staring at a blank television. They had seemed so happy about moving her here, saying how close she would be and how often they'd stop in for a visit. They'd even kept that promise for a few weeks, before the eventual tapering began. She hadn't seen her daughter for over six months, and she was beginning to forget what the grandkids looked like. Even the staff was beginning to forget checking on her. She is seventy years old, and she realizes no one has time for her. Maybe a phone call would help them remember. Maybe not. She begins crying, wishing that tears would make them think of her. All she wants is to be remembered. Her name is Betty. Can you see her?

He is hanging high above them, staring down at the crowds below. His body is raging with pain, His flesh stripped from His back, His face swollen. They have mocked Him and spat upon Him. Below, men are gambling for His clothes. They shoved a crown of thorns atop His head. They have driven nails into His hands and feet and hung Him from a cross, between two thieves. Even now, sins He never committed are being taken by Him, and he feels His Father leave Him. He is thirty-three years old, and all that He has done was for you. Maybe taking their sins would save them. It is up to them. He cries out, fearing God's presence has abandoned Him. All He wants is to see us in His Kingdom. His name is Jesus....

....Can you see Him?

The End

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