Can you think of a time when you knew you were truly loved?
Not in a general sense, but you specifically. When was a time you knew and felt truly loved by another? If everyone were to share a story like this, I’d bet we’d find this common theme arise:
Moments when we are truly loved are moments when we are truly seen.
What do we do then with the reality that our eyes don’t see well if at all? As we look on others, so many of us default to using our eyes to watch, to lust, to loathe, or to consume. But so few of us have eyes that truly see.
In short, we so often view, but we so rarely see.
Meanwhile, God sees.
Where we perceive objects for our pleasure, or obstacles to our happiness, or threats to our security, or interruptions to our comfort, God sees…people—each uniquely and wonderfully made by Him, in His image, and from His immense love.
Is it possible, just possible, that so many of the problems we struggle with could be resolved if we could come to see, really see, as God sees?
Viewing is passive, seeing is active. Seeing requires more than my eyes. My heart has to be engaged. I have to open both my eyes and my heart in order to see.
Viewing is for me, seeing is for the other. When I’m viewing, I’m looking to block out distractions and be entertained. But seeing means I’m focusing on the other person and his or her good, and so seeing will call me to action on behalf of the other.
Viewing feeds fiction even in reality, seeing nourishes reality even through fiction. When I’m viewing, I edit out things to remake the world in my image, according to my wishes. But when I’m seeing, I’m engaging with what is really real. In this way, I find there’s truth to be discovered even in fairy tales.
How are we to see, truly see, then? Is it a matter of putting down our screens and having face-to-face conversations? Maybe. But screens weren’t where our problem started.
Our problem started when we chose sin—our attempt to find life apart from God who is life—and with sin came death. Where our eyes were once alive, seeing clearly, now they are infected with death, crippled and blind.
And so when we look at men, women, and children made in God’s image, our blind eyes are prone to “see” temptations, types, classes, shapes, body parts, obstacles in our way, objects of lust, or threats to our peace and happiness.
But God created us to see His dear ones whom He knit together in their mother’s womb, whom He loves immensely, whom He calls individually by name, whom He sees even now.
Who can see like this?
Look at Jesus’ life—oh it’s so evident He sees like this. Even from the cross, He saw. See how He loved the criminal asking for mercy (Lk. 23:40-43). See His concern for His disciple and His mother (Jn. 19:26, 27). See His compassion even on those who insulted, cursed, and crucified Him (Lk. 23:34).
He is the cure for our blindness. His own did not recognize Him (John 1:10), still He opened their blind eyes (Mk. 8:22 – 25), and His eyes now see all, burning like a flame of fire (Rev. 1:14).
Do you want to love others as He does? Then you must see as He sees.
I’ve had only glimpses, and I keep praying He would help me see as He sees, that He would heal my eyes to see again. Whether a neighbor at the door or a stranger at the store, my daughter throwing a tantrum in her room or a refugee’s son at the border, a politician in my newsfeed or a man or woman in porn, Lord, I want to see.
Jesus, you asked the blind man what he wanted You to do for him. I cry out like he did, “I want to see!” This day, would you open my eyes to see what you see?
I’d love to hear from you! Can you think of a time someone really saw you? How did that impact your life? Or maybe you can think of a time you were able to see someone in a new light that enabled you to love them in a fuller way? Leave a comment below.