Being a Seer: Why We All Need to Be Seen

Feb 16, 2023

She’s been on island for 2 years going to school. Despite house sitting there twice neither Emily nor I have been on-island since Alison started school.

I’m still processing my recent 10 days in Hawaii.

I went to speak to the BYU-Hawaii Entrepreneurship program.

I stayed to visit our daughter, Alison.



Alison kindly picked me up from the airport. I was starving from the long flight so we headed straight to Costco for hot dogs and then grocery shopping. After Alison’s car with stocked with my luggage and our separate batches of groceries, we headed for the North Shore, arriving late.



We unloaded her groceries at her apartment and I met her roommates: Computer Science, Teaching and Teaching. They all seemed to get along really well. Alison had a 9-11pm class, so I dropped her at campus and I (with her graciously lent car) continued further north to the campground where I’d be spend the next week and a half.


After bumbling around in the dark, getting lost and ultimately having to heft my gear past the locked campground gate in multiple shifts, I set up my tent, cot and sleeping bag. I could hear the waves rushing up on the beach just 100 yards away. I was nestled into the trees on a soft, sandy knoll. The trees provided a welcome break from the oncoming trade winds.





I spent the following few days on campus speaking to the students, meeting Alison’s friends and work colleagues, sitting next to her in the computer lab while she did homework, cooking dinner with her in her apartment, surfing and hammocking together near my campsite and generally tromping around Oahu having a good time.




“Dad, I’m so glad you’re here,” she told me. “It’s nice to just be seen... For you to see my world.”


The whole time I was there, I couldn’t shake this idea of being seen. We all need it. We crave it. It’s a gift only someone else can give us.


When people come to our home for the first time, it’s not uncommon to show them around. “You want the nickel tour?” my Dad would say. He’d then show them the latest home improvement projects he’d been working on and any highlights he could fit in as he walked them through our house and yard.



One of my favorite activities in elementary school was Show and Tell. We’d each bring in something from home (sometime based on a theme) and share it. How simple. Bringing my home life and my school life together always had a certain satisfaction.

Nowadays, we do this galore on social media. We want to share, connect and be seen. We share pictures, videos and tell stories. Heck, I’m doing it right now.


The flip side of this is the Seer, the person who sees. We can’t feel seen without a Seer. There’s a scriptural meaning for Seer. Perhaps the two overlap. But in this sense, I think “seeing” someone is a way of loving them. Knowing their world, their struggles, their triumphs. Being the person with whom something important can be shared.


I’m grateful I got to spend so much time with Alison, to see her and see her world.

And I was able to show her some of my favorites from previous times on Oahu. I even felt a small sense of “home” when she visited my campsite for the first time and I could show her where I was "living" : )



We all need to be heard, seen and understood.

We can also be the one who listens, sees and understands.

My life is rich to the extent I see.

I want to be a seer.

I’m grateful for those who love me enough to “see” me.


My wish for you: I hope you are seen AND a seer.

Family first doesn't mean Mom + Dad last.

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