Something I love about Jesus is that he is relentlessly and uncompromisingly interested in the condition of our hearts. It is captivating how he sees clearly what so often, we miss entirely… or maybe just misdiagnose. And that would be no surprise since our pool of truth and cumulative insight is so severely lacking when, more often than not, we cannot see beyond what is offered plainly before us. But there is one whose vision is not limited by the evasive disguise of smiles and rhetoric, the truth of our intentions are not lost upon his gaze, even if lost upon the one who owns them.
This happened in recorded scripture, and it happens now. Hagar, in her distress, called God, “the one who sees.” During the #mondaymomtime interviews preceding the Firmly Planted Bible Study, I heard stories that evidenced unquestionably that God was paying attention to and involved in the intricate details of the lives of those women. It was one of the most moving parts of the whole experience.
“Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear him, on those who hope in his steadfast love…” — Psalm 33:18 (remember Hesed?! That is this.)
He sees us
In your joy, he sees and delights.
In your grief, he sees and comforts.
In your tragedy, he sees and is present.
In your anxiety, he sees, calls you to him, and his throne is secure.
In your disengagement, he sees and he is faithful.
What does your story look like right now? What is your first response to this claim that he sees you? Right now, what is true of your heart, and how do you think he is responding? His clarity of sight is unmatched and unrelenting. He will not leave you nor forsake you. Where often we are blind to an accurate read on a person (or ourselves) he is not. He sees value where we see poverty. He sees success where we see struggles, he glorifies what we often ignore, condemns what we often worship, invites when we feel unworthy. He is not distracted by formality or doctored perceptions, but he aims straight for raw hearts, and engages in remarkable, unexpected ways all the time. He is unimpressed with and undistracted by shallow formality and consistently engages with clarity of vision into the person’s heart before him.
It leaves me in awe.
Perhaps even a little vulnerable.
Because it takes vigilance to see past what is offered and into what’s real. And sometimes what is placed before staring perceivers is prettier than what’s real, what’s happening beneath the surface; more confident that we are, more durable than we feel. What we present could be preserving our pride, and he won’t allow us to hide behind wounds and false anchors.
“But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.” — 1 Samuel 16:7
What if we did the same? What if we not only rested in his gaze, but emulated his interest?
What if we settled not for the image a person propped up, but asked real questions? What if we heard what a person was celebrating or grieving? What they were hoping for or afraid of? What if we asked God to see the people around us? It is not without supernatural direction that we are able to love people and probe hearts in such a way that true statuses come out of hiding and into view. And when honesty is offered, real work can be done. Introductions can be made, relationships restored, fruit born, worth revealed, hearts mended… love is not found without truth. We are seen. And we were made to see.