Be Still Know
Psalm 33:13 NLT
‘The Lord looks down from heaven and sees the whole human race.’
I remember from my childhood a schoolteacher saying to me, ‘I’ve got my eye on you.’ My attention span was minimal, and classroom learning an effort at best. I longed for the great outdoors, and would often gaze out of the window lost in a daydream of my own imagination. Clearly this did not escape my teacher’s attention!
The psalmist reminds us that God has got his eye on us. But for what purpose? My instinctive response sees God as a spoilsport, a form of CCTV, supposedly with my best interests at heart, but secretly I suspect it is an assault on my privacy. This is my natural reaction to all authority, one that can blind me to the good. It’s all about me.
I have discovered that God is inviting me to return his gaze, and in doing so to discover more about the God who created me, and about myself. If I will turn this gaze into a disciplined practice, I discover how so many of my assumptions, not only of God but also of me, are misplaced. In returning God’s gaze, it’s as if I begin to see through the eyes of God.
One reason for training and now practising as a spiritual director is that many people can only see God through the lens of their own self-perception. In the space of direction, together we seek to discern the voice of God, or perhaps begin to see all of life through the eyes of God.
When that teacher told me he had his eye upon me, in my youthful arrogance I assumed it was to restrict me in some way. I had been singled out and it was a guarantee of punishments to come. Perhaps, in his wisdom, it was a generous attempt to support and help me, which I foolishly brushed aside; less of a judgement and more of an invitation. Certainly this is true of God’s constant gaze, and provides the substance of his invitation to each one of us to respond by gazing back into God’s eyes.
QUESTION: How do you perceive God’s gaze throughout all the earth?
PRAYER: Sovereign Lord, help me rest secure under the knowledge of your gaze.