Belinda and I went to see Avatar last week. I loved the movie, it is epic in nature and the special effects are incredible. The 3D was fun; it had me dodging things right in my seat. I want to see it again now that I know the storyline so I can take in the richness of the setting and notice the many parallels to the Gospel. I know there are many differences too and that is part of what makes me curious.
There was a line in the movie that was repeated several times, I see you. They used it to mean that one could see into the heart and soul of another in such a way as to truly know what was going on inside that person. I loved it because it captured a concept I’ve come to believe in life, that we often see but don’t see. I believe I can look into my wife, Belinda’s eyes and say, I see you. I see her now in a way that I couldn’t see her even a few years ago because of all we’ve experienced in life and marriage. Let me explain.
The Bible often speaks of people who observe things with their eyes but don’t conceive what is really happening behind the scenes. For example the Israelites saw God deliver them from Egypt but didn’t really see God. Job said at the beginning of his trial, are your eyes like those of a human and you see things only as people see them? Job 10:4. It is possible; even likely, that we might be in the middle of God’s work and yet not know what He is up too. We might see others but not see who they really are.
I think the truth is that often we couldn’t look into the eyes of another, our spouse, a child, a co-worker or our boss and say with sincerity, I see you. That is concerning considering how much time we might spend with that person and how important it is to truly see them. It is even more vital that we see God for who He is. Jesus said the people of His day had eyes but didn’t see (Mt 13:5) and then He revealed why—their hearts were hard. In Rev 3:18 He begged the people to ask for ointment for their eyes so they could see.
My question for this trip and to you who read this, who in your life do you see but not understand. I’m immersed in a different culture. I see people and powerful symbols like dragons but do I really see? I see the rich, amazing, beautiful, wealth and activity of Hong Kong but do I really see what is in the heart of my Father for these people, this city, and this country? I won’t if I am self concerned with whether I am jetlagged, like the food, find what I want as a consumer and treat the trip as about me getting what I want out of it.
But when I lay down my selfish concerns and ask God to help me truly see—the people, the place, my team and most importantly HIM–a whole new world opens up. The wonder and the revelation is like Job expressed in 42:5, I’ve heard about you but now I’ve seen you with my own eyes. I want to be able to look into the face of God and say, I see You. I believe He invites us to come that close. I want to see, to really see those in my life. I pray today to be other-centered so I truly see.