I confess – my eyesight isn’t what it used to be. I guess that would explain why I wear glasses. My glasses enable me to read the small print I wouldn’t be able to read otherwise but still I feel my sight isn’t perfect. I often don’t see people or events clearly, or as clearly as I wish I could see them. Although, like everyone else, my hindsight is always perfect.
I want to see other people as God sees them, but how do I do that? God’s vision is so superior to mine. 1 Samuel 16:7 provides this explanation,
“The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
If only I had God’s x-ray vision! “Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.” (Hebrews 4:13)
God sees it all. No one escapes His notice, no one is invisible to Him. In Matthew 10 we are told not even a sparrow falls to the ground apart from His notice. In Genesis 16:7 we read, “The angel of the Lord found Hagar near a spring in the desert;”. This prompted Hagar to say of God, ” ‘You are the God who sees me,’ for she said, ‘I have now seen the One who sees me.’ ” (Genesis 16:13)
Not only did God see Hagar, there would come a time when He would help her to see Him and to see her surroundings. She was again in the desert with her son, Ishmael. “Then God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water. So she went and filled the skin with water and gave the boy a drink.” (Genesis 21:19) God opened her eyes and saved her life.
God helped Elisha’s servant to see when he was afraid of what he saw, which was horses and chariots surrounding the city where they were. But Elisha told him, “‘Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.’ Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.” (2 Kings 6:16-17)
God can help me to see what I don’t see on my own but need to see nonetheless. It is a matter of where I fix my gaze. “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:18)
That’s what God sees when He looks at me, the eternal part of me, not the temporal. When I look at others with my human eyes, I see the temporal, not the eternal. But God can help me to see the eternal in others, to see as He sees.
God opened Hagar’s eyes, He opened Elisha’s servant’s eyes, He opened Paul’s eyes by first making him blind. God can open my eyes and my heart if I allow Him to guide my gaze from the temporal to the eternal.
This certainly is a time when we all need to view each other through a clearer, kinder, more grace filled lens. We need to see ourselves and each other as God sees us – as His image bearers, as His dearly loved children. We need to see beyond the outward appearance of a person into their heart. Too bad there aren’t glasses that could help me with that kind of vision.
My prayer is that of the psalmist in Psalm 119:18, “Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in Your law.”
Ultimately, “It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.” (Antoine de Saint Exupery)
so maybe it’s my heart that needs glasses more than my eyes do?
sincerely, Grace Day