The Father Sees

"In love I designed you, all of the details,
Woven from My heart, I will not forget you.
Don't think the dark could hide you where I can't get to you
So know you are... Seen."1
Lyrics by Anastasya Laverdiere
Worship leader for Alberta's Olympic Faith retreat


My father had a way of making people laugh. He loved life and celebrated it with artistic flair and a heart for God. His smile was captivating, but perhaps his most striking feature was his dark, expressive eyes. As his youngest daughter, it is deeply precious to me that those eyes watched over me with tenderness and love... so I've been told.

You see, my father passed away when I was a toddler and I have no clear recollection of him. As a child, I found myself wondering what it would be like to look up and see my daddy's eyes smiling down at me again. I was repeatedly assured by family members that when he was alive, he knew me well and loved me -- he saw me.

We all long to be seen; to be embraced by the deep, loving gaze of someone dear to us. This same longing is shared by our suffering Christian family members. The reality is that before receiving assistance from VOMC, their testimonies often included the words, "It felt like we were forgotten." Nobody knew. Nobody cared. These believers felt invisible.

Wouldn't it be wonderful to offer that gift to each suffering saint -- to be able to look at them directly and say, "You are loved; you are remembered; you are seen"? This reflects the ministry of The Voice of the Martyrs Canada, and you are our partners in that.

My husband and I work with a team of gifted staff members when filling VOMC's website with current stories and testimonies. We try to offer you high-quality images of our Christian brothers and sisters so you have a visual representation of those for whom you are praying; so you can actually see them. As Glenn Penner, VOMC's former CEO stated: "It's one thing to read their testimonies. It's quite another to hear their voices and see their faces... witnessing their tears and joy."

What do you do, though, when there is no picture, no voice -- only an invisible person suffering for his or her faith? Unfortunately, despite our best efforts, such images frequently don't exist or are inaccessible to us. Yet, do these believers remain unseen?

Tucked away in a prophecy that Hanani brought to Asa, king of Judah, is a beautiful reminder: "For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to give strong support to those whose heart is blameless toward him" (2 Chronicles 16:9a ESV).

The "eyes of Lord" see every blow of the persecutors' hands, every drop of blood, and every single tear that falls. He looks deeply into the face of each martyr in their worst suffering and sees those hearts that are truly His. He gives "strong support" to each beloved saint. As we pray, we join with the heart of God -- the Father sees!

Twyla Penner
Web Developer
The Voice of the Martyrs Canada


Father and son