Window on the World

IMG_1942I am writing to you from an airplane slicing through swirls of creamy clouds as light as my Mom’s mashed potatoes. I love to look out airplane windows and contemplate life. There is just something about getting above the planet and looking down on the patchwork of crop fields dotted with meandering streams that gets me out of my myopic view of everyday life. I feel like pressing my nose against this window on the world for the entire flight.

Imagine the colossal view that God has not just of Earth and all the celestial wonders, but also a close-up watch on each of our lives. The ancient Jews called Him El Roi, which means “the God who sees.” He sees all the moments of our existence from our beginnings in the womb to the end of our days and every nanosecond in between.

God sees the wrap up of our 2015 and sees ahead to the adventures and challenges of 2016. He observes what we eat, how we drive, how we work, how we interact with others. El Roi never loses sight of who we are and what we need.

But you know what? At times I pause and wonder if God has diminishing vision. Hearing about unspeakable ISIS atrocities, or violence in America, or people suffering everything from cancer to loss of jobs ruffles my faith in God’s eyesight. Is God seeing this breakdown in our world? Is He simply catching a quick glimpse of our angst or is He truly focused on us when disappointment and despair invade?

When these questions resound, I am learning to recalibrate what I know is absolutely true. And on opportunities like today, I get my head above the clouds to clear my fuzzy vision about God’s character. I am drawn to King David’s confident words about God’s watchful eye. “You know when I leave and when I get back;
I’m never out of your sight. . . . Is there anyplace I can go to avoid your Spirit? To be out of your sight? If I climb to the sky, you’re there!
If I go underground, you’re there!
If I flew on morning’s wings
to the far western horizon,
you’d find me in a minute—you’re already there waiting! (Psalm 139: 3-10, The Message).

God not only sees us now, but He’s already ahead waiting for us? That’s a mind stretcher, but it settles my doubts about El Roi’s need for His annual eye exam. Today’s flying “on morning wings” reminds me that no matter where we travel or if we hit some turbulence along the way, we will never escape God’s notice.

Before my plane descends, I want to linger above Cloud 9 just a little longer, pondering El Roi’s perfect vision and my need for His observant care in the year ahead. If you’d like to join me, I’ll switch to the middle seat so you can get your own close-up view of the creamy clouds as light as my Mom’s mashed potatoes.

How would you describe God’s eyesight?

Brave and Resilient Tip #129: No matter where you are, you are never out of God’s sight.

 

Let’s Talk

 Seeing with New Eyes

 

Q.  Can you talk about the importance of our “not seeing” (loss of vision) today and our feeling of despair?

A. Let’s Talk! I recently heard an interesting fact about the Titanic. If a certain key had been present to unlock the ship’s binoculars, the Titanic might not have sunk. Vision is huge. Here is the story about the key from The Telegraph website*:

It is thought to have fitted the locker that contained the crow’s nest binoculars, vital in detecting threats to the liner lurking in the sea in the pre-sonar days of 1912.

Catastrophically for the Titanic and the 1,522 lives lost with her, the key’s owner, Second Officer David Blair, was removed from the crew at the last minute and in his haste forgot to hand it to his replacement.

Without access to the glasses, the lookouts in the crow’s nest were forced to rely on their eyes and only saw the iceberg when it was too late to take action.

One, Fred Fleet, who survived the disaster, later told the official inquiry into the tragedy that if they had had binoculars they would have seen the obstacle sooner.

* “Key that could have saved the Titanic,” The Telegraph, by Graham Tibbetts, retrieved August 9, 2013.

We do need physical sight, as evidenced by this story and more, but we really require spiritual sight or insight even more.

Ann Voscamp, in her book, A Thousand Gifts, has taught me another way to “see.” I won’t do the book justice, but a summary is that we must have gratitude for every glimpse in our mind’s eye. A soap bubble. A child’s laugh. Maybe we can train ourselves to see what is in front of us in new ways. This gratitude is an antidote for despair.

Looking at our trials from God’s view or vision instead of our own is “the key!”

 Proverbs 29:18 says, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” We are so trained to see things from a human, earthly and physical viewpoint that we forget God’s perspective – the REAL and important one, though invisible to our eyes! Ask God to “show” you in your mind’s eyes His truth today for whatever is difficult. Look up!

 

For Deeper Reflection

Read Proverbs 2: 1 – 12             

 

Helen B. McIntosh has a doctorate in counseling psychology and is a national board certified professional counselor and certified in reality therapy. An educator for 19 years, Dr. McIntosh is an author, a highly demanded national speaker and inventor of the Peace Rug®, an international curriculum for conflict resolution.

You can contact me confidentially at DrHelen@braveandresilient.com.