I wear eyeglasses. Throughout the day they become messy with fingerprints, other smears, just whatever gunk comes across my face during the day – sometimes the smears are on the inside from tears. Most of the time I don’t even realize the lenses of my glasses are so dirty I shouldn’t be able to see through them. My husband is the one who pulls them off my face and asks, “How can you see through these?”
On Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman one of the characters is named Grace and she says, “Sometimes the way we see ourselves blinds us to how others see us.” Another character, Robert Lee said to Grace, “…these people are here because of who you are not who you aren’t…”
In I Corinthians 13:12 Paul wrote “Now we see but a poor refection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.”
I don’t usually think of Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians when it comes to thinking about how other people see me or how I THINK other people see me. Recently I had opportunity to do so.
I’d like to say how people see me, what they think of me matters little if anything at all to me. But that would be a lie. Evidence points directly to the opposite.
When someone at work incorrectly pointed the finger at me for a large Medicaid payback it bothered me so much I spent over an hour finding an email to prove my innocence because I felt as if my professional reputation had been smeared. Even more recently when someone stole the deposit money from our office part of my initial reactions were because I was afraid I’d be accused of stealing the money.
As a patient at a local hospital last week I noticed a difference in how I felt when I was being assisted during a procedure when the staff involved spent the time talking with me or “over me”. By “over me” I mean carrying on a conversation that had nothing to do with me but instead about what they were doing in their personal life. Clearly in one case I felt like a human being, a person with feelings, pain, needs and the people helping me cared about me as a fellow human being who was suffering. In the other case I was just a task they had to get done in order to get through their shift.
It’s hard to see anything or anyone clearly if you are looking through lenses that are dirty. It’s hard to see ourselves as capable, intelligent, human beings worthy of another’s attention or love because we are so sure others see us as needy, incapable and unworthy. When we need help and people offer help we find it difficult to accept the help because we think they are only offering out of pity or curiosity or judgment or duty.
Sometimes I long to see myself with the filter of God’s love yet other times I cringe at the thought of how I look to God – ungrateful, whiny, self-centered. Yet He loves me. Yet He sent His Son to die for me. Most of all He sent His Son to not only die for me and my sins but to defeat death, defeat Satan so when my earthly life is over and since I’ve said “Yes” to His invitation to forsake the world and live for Him – I will be with Him for all eternity in Heaven.
My husband is right; it is hard to see clearly if your eyeglasses are dirty. Grace is right; it’s hard to see anything good in yourself that other people see if you’re blinded by what you see and all you see are your mistakes and shortcomings. Robert Lee is right, people come to help, to your aid, to see you, to befriend you more often because of who you ARE not who you AREN’T.
Most of all Paul is right, everything we see this side of Heaven we see only a poor reflection of because the reality of what God sees we can’t see because we don’t have God’s eyes, or Heaven’s perspective. I don’t know about you, but I’m going to try to look at all things through clean lenses and God’s Word since that is as close to His eyes as I can get right now. Somehow, I just know a lot of things are about to change.
Many years ago Amy Grant had a contemporary song out titled, “My Father’s Eyes” and the chorus went something like this: “She had her Father’s eyes, her Father’s eyes….eyes that saw the good in things when good was not around…eyes that saw the source of help when help could not be found. Eyes full of compassion…
I’d like to have my Father’s eyes. Wouldn’t you?