For two years she has wanted simply to be seen. For much longer than that, really, but especially since the move away from all she’d known. From all her children had known. From being known. (Because back then and there she had been seen and known through years of friendships that felt like favorite shirts and Sunday after Sunday surrounded by the same church family and living in close proximity to actual by blood family.) So if she ever felt unknown and unseen back then and there, it felt nothing like after the move.
Last month I had the opportunity to hear Christine Caine teach the Word in person. (And Kari Jobe sing, and man that girl can lead and sing!) Christine taught from Luke 7:36-48:
One of the Pharisees asked him to eat with him, and he went into the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. And behold, a woman of the city, who was a sinner, when she learned that he was reclining at table in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster flask of ointment, and standing behind him at his feet, weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head and kissed his feet and anointed them with the ointment. Now when the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would have known who and what sort of woman this is who is touching him, for she is a sinner.” And Jesus answering said to him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.” And he answered, “Say it, Teacher.”
“A certain moneylender had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. When they could not pay, he cancelled the debt of both. Now which of them will love him more?” Simon answered, “The one, I suppose, for whom he cancelled the larger debt.” And he said to him, “You have judged rightly.” Then turning toward the woman he said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave me no water for my feet, but she has wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You gave me no kiss, but from the time I came in she has not ceased to kiss my feet. You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment. Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.” (Luke 7:41-47 ESV)
“Do you see this woman?” We know full well Simon (the Pharisee) “saw” her – he knew exactly who she was and much of what she’d done and he looked at her but he didn’t *see* her like Jesus did. He was looking, but he was not truly seeing.
And this is what we do. So often we look at others, at each other, but we do not truly see. We look through self-tinted glasses, or unreasonable expectations or “you are not like me” glasses. We look for our needs to be met and do not see the needs of others.
If we aren’t truly seeing people, are we truly seeing Jesus? When you are blinded by yourself you’ll never see anyone else.” —Christine Caine
So long she’s wanted to be seen by people who are simply unable to see her. True, some of them make the choice not to see, but most? Most are unable because it’s just so hard to get beyond the self. (For her also, obviously, since she so desperately wants to be seen.) But is she seeing others?
I’m guessing that we don’t truly see others because we don’t accept the truth of how we are seen by God. So let’s take a look at how we are seen by Him – our maker, our Father:
For His eyes are upon the ways of man, and He sees all his steps. (Job 34:21)
Your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you. (Matthew 6:4)
You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. (Matthew 5:14)
Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky. (Philippians 2:15)
You are the salt of the earth. (Matthew 5:13)
For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness” made His light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ. (2 Corinthians 4:6)
The King is enthralled by your beauty; honor Him, for He is your Lord. (Psalm 45:11)
But there’s far more to life for us. We’re citizens of high heaven! We’re waiting the arrival of the Savior, the Master, Jesus Christ, who will transform our earthy bodies into glorious bodies like his own. He’ll make us beautiful and whole with the same powerful skill by which he is putting everything as it should be, under and around him. (Philippians 3:20-21)
And it is God who establishes us with you in Christ, and has anointed us, and who has also put his seal on us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee. (2 Corinthians 1:21)
For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority. (Colossians 2:9-10)
And this is only a sampling of how He sees us. In Jesus, we are always seen, even in secret. He made us to shine and be salty and He finds us beautiful and makes us fully complete. We are citizens of heaven, even now as we are established, anointed and sealed. And when I think about it enough, I wonder why on earth it matters if I’m seen by others when I am so lovingly seen by God?
God knows exactly where you are, too. He knew where you were an hour ago and he knows where you will be tomorrow. You may feel like you’re up a tree right now in your life. God knows where you are. You may feel like you are out on a limb, Jesus knows. You may feel all alone, but Jesus stops and notices. You are not forgotten; you are not alone.” —Rick Warren regarding the story of Zaccheus.
So she decided that because she is so well loved and constantly and truly seen by Jesus, that she would concern herself much less about being seen and would begin trying to truly see those around her.
And she decided to start today…