I remember waking up one birthday morning and my parents ushering me into our living room with great excitement. They asked me to name what was different about the room. I looked and looked, but I just couldn’t see what they wanted me to notice. Finally, in desperation, they pointed to the wall. There hung a beautiful wooden cuckoo clock – my birthday present. I was pleased, of course, but clearly not as excited as my parents.
Looking back, I see with different eyes.
At the time, I saw an interesting clock. Now, I understand that at the time, such items were very difficult to obtain. It was not all that long after the Second World War. The clock was a luxury, an achievement, the promise of a life that might not be all hardship and scraping a living.
In short, it was fun - and fun had been low on the list of recent life experience.
Years later, I found the clock broken and discarded in the tool shed. Its purpose was complete and it no longer needed to hang on the wall to prove that peace had prevailed.
Seeing is a very complicated and multilayered experience.
Often we are give a quick glance that satisfies our assumptions.
Only when we encounter the way in which Jesus sees that we can begin to grasp the significance of sight.
He invites us to open our hearts and learn to see as God sees – clearly, deeply, transparently, and lovingly.
Being seen like that can make us feel uncomfortably exposed.
The Collect for Purity at the start of our Eucharist captures that sense of vulnerability. “Almighty God, to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you no secrets are hid: Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit that we may perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy Name; through Christ our Lord.”
The truth is that we are transparent to God. Nothing is hidden. We may feel uncomfortable at the thought. On the other hand, being seen and loved just as you are is life-changing! Rejoice!
The Reverend Susan N. Eaves