I don’t think we think of ourselves as invisible. We know that people basically see us—although I wonder from time to time when a discourteous driver jumps into what I consider my driving space. Otherwise, I basically get the sense that people see me and hear me. But who sees me? Now that is a different question altogether.
This question was formed while I was viewing the visually spectacular movie Avatar. The spiritual leaders of the clan could see that the intruder to their group had a good heart. When they spoke of seeing him, they meant that they could see beyond his bodily form. They saw that he was someone they could trust to welcome among their village.
It made me think that God longs for me to see other people the way the Avatar’s saw each other, the way He sees me. God sees me in a way beyond just what I happen to be wearing. He isn’t even just seeing the behaviors—good or bad—in which I am participating (secret or public). He sees my heart, and He invites me to live in my relationships the way He does and see the true hearts of others. In Genesis 16:13, Hagar calls God “the God Who Sees.” She gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her:
“You are the God who sees me, for she said, I have now seen the One who sees me.”
God saw Hagar in her distress when she was so hopeless she planned to die because things were going so bad for her and her young son, Ishmael. She discovered in the midst of her despair who God really was. She had heard about God from Abraham and Sarah. She had seen the impact the idea of God had on Abraham and Sarah. Now, she saw that the God of Abraham and Sarah is the “God Who Sees.”
I love that name for God. He is the God Who Sees. He saw the despair of the Israelites when they were slaves in Egypt (Exodus 2:25). He sees you. He sees you for more than what you are wearing or what you are doing. He sees the potential He put in you. He sees if you are moving toward that potential or turning away from it.
I’m ever amazed at how we try to hide from God. It was the instinctive reaction of Adam and Eve after they sinned to try to hide behind some bushes so that God would not see them. The prophet Jonah tried to hide in the opposite city from where God told him to go. We cannot hide from God. He will always see us both physically and inwardly.
It is only in being seen by God that we come to truly see ourselves for who we are. This happened in the movie. The spiritual women saw the visiting Avatar as good and let him in their trust. In fact, his intentions for being with them were not good. He was infiltrating their home so that he could give intelligence to his people and use it to harm the Avatars. The women didn’t see that part of him. They were blinded to that side of him and saw into his true soul. And in the end they were right. He did have a good heart and was there to help them.
That’s true of how God sees you. Unlike the spiritual women, He sees it all—the good, bad and ugly. He sees the thoughts and intentions of your heart. He also sees that there is more to you than that. If you will let Him show you His image inside of you and His purposes for your life, you too can see your goodness—the goodness He sees. I want to see others for the good they have inside too, starting with myself.