How we see


One of the most powerful questions in our lives is a deceptively simple one: how will that make us look.  We ask ourselves this question in myriad ways on an almost daily basis, and seldom does it have anything to do with how we actual appear to another person.  It is how we imagine we will be taken by our behaviour, attitudes, and responses.  Often it is a vision tainted by the worst possible imagination of ourselves possible.

The power of our consideration of how we are seen isn't so much in what it forces us to do, rather in what it prevents us from doing and being.  One of the most pertinent and powerful areas for me, to be perfectly honest, is in that of evangelism.  There is always the voice in the back of my head inviting me to be quiet least my offering of the Good News give offence to the persom I am talking to.  I am guessing I am not alone in confessing this barrier.  In more mundane realities the question of perception brings us to moderate ourselves and hold back in areas throughout our lives in every respect from our grooming to the car that we drive, and even how we dress, live, and all the rest.  At the end of the day, we are social beings who live the world of other Social beings, and the image that we want to put in front of us and be known for resonates with us deeply on every level.

While this is a perfectly human response to  the world in which we all live and move, we are always invited to another view: that of the creator God who made us, who loves us, and whose vision of who we are is the clearest of all.  God's vision is for what we are created to be as people of God.  God sees our heart, and in love casts a vision for who we are and who we can be.  We all need from time to time to reflect on the fact that who we are is far bigger than how we look.  God offers us a liberty to be who we really are: the beloved child of God we were made to be.  That is true for us and all those around us.

I wonder how might we best embrace the promises of God with us to grant us new eyes to see and be seen as God's children all the time?

1 Samuel 16:1-13

16 The Lord said to Samuel, “How long will you mourn for Saul, since I have rejected him as king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil and be on your way; I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem. I have chosen one of his sons to be king.”
2 But Samuel said, “How can I go? If Saul hears about it, he will kill me.” The Lord said, “Take a heifer with you and say, ‘I have come to sacrifice to the Lord.’ 3 Invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what to do. You are to anoint for me the one I indicate.”
4 Samuel did what the Lord said. When he arrived at Bethlehem, the elders of the town trembled when they met him. They asked, “Do you come in peace?”
5 Samuel replied, “Yes, in peace; I have come to sacrifice to the Lord. Consecrate yourselves and come to the sacrifice with me.” Then he consecrated Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice.
6 When they arrived, Samuel saw Eliab and thought, “Surely the Lord’s anointed stands here before the Lord.”
7 But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
8 Then Jesse called Abinadab and had him pass in front of Samuel. But Samuel said, “The Lord has not chosen this one either.”
9 Jesse then had Shammah pass by, but Samuel said, “Nor has the Lord chosen this one.”
10 Jesse had seven of his sons pass before Samuel, but Samuel said to him, “The Lord has not chosen these.”
11 So he asked Jesse, “Are these all the sons you have?” “There is still the youngest,” Jesse answered. “He is tending the sheep.” Samuel said, “Send for him; we will not sit down until he arrives.” 12 So he sent for him and had him brought in. He was glowing with health and had a fine appearance and handsome features. Then the Lord said, “Rise and anoint him; this is the one.” 13 So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of the Lord came powerfully upon David. Samuel then went to Ramah.