“I’m right here, Daddy! Do you see me?” my two-year-old son, Asher, called while running across the freshly mown grass at our neighborhood park on a recent evening.

My husband, Dana, was playing with our older children. He hadn’t called Asher. Our son just wanted to make sure his dad was paying attention.

As a child, I often felt overlooked by my own father, who left home when I was five. My brother and I generally saw him once a year when our mother loaded us into the back of our Datsun and drove all day from our Oregon farm to the California coast, where our dad had moved. We went for rides in the sand dunes and got to pick free camping gear from the shelves of his Army Surplus store. He even took us out to dinner. Steak! But other than our one annual day together, I wasn’t sure my dad remembered me.

After our family moved east, I saw my dad only a couple more times. The last time we spoke was the night before my wedding when he called to wish Dana and me a happy life together. Over the years I sent Father’s Day and Christmas cards before one finally came back “Address Unknown.” My dad had moved without leaving a forwarding address.  So I understand Asher’s need to make sure his dad was watching.

One of my favorite names for God in Scripture is “the God who sees.” When things don’t go the way I’d hoped or I feel lost or discouraged, it’s easy to wonder whether my heavenly Father sees. But like Hagar, the pregnant and abused Egyptian slave who spoke those words of God in a desert, it’s good to know that not only does He see, He also has a blessing.

“I will increase your descendants so much that they will be too numerous to count,” the angel of the Lord told Hagar in Genesis 16:9. Rather than accepting  a destitute life in the desert, Hagar recognized that Her Father had a bigger plan.

Did you ever feel abandoned by a parent? Ever feel abandoned by God? How has he revealed Himself to you?