Skin Deep

How do we look to God?  A few years ago I wrote a song with the line “tell me again how You see me”.  I must confess that I have a long way to go before I can claim to even come close to seeing with His eyes.  I need some kind of baptism of love, I think.

The Bible tells us that “man looks on the outward appearance, but God looks on the heart.”  One of the most beautiful passages of Scripture reads:

  • For You created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother’s womb.  I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well.  My frame was not hidden from You when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth (the womb of humanness).  Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in Your book before one of them came to be.  How precious to me are Your thoughts, God!  How vast is the sum of them!  Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand— when I awake, I am still with You.  (Psalm 139:13-18)

You don’t have to go far to see people who, well, don’t strike you as reflecting the image and likeness of God.  The world has a plethora of labels for them such as hobo, bogan, tramp, trailer trash, and even the movie term “extra”.  People who behave badly really get to me; my fleshly instinct is to thumb my nose at them.  And it’s perfectly true that there are people in this world who are, frankly, evil.  However … the Great White Throne already has an occupant, and it isn’t me.

Ogres are like onions.  I begin to wonder if they’re actually parfaits with a bit of onion peel wrapped around them.  To God, the most precious commodity in the universe would be the thing that cost His own blood to buy, would it not?  People.

Their morality aside, let’s look at People for a minute.  Ever seen the Louis Giglio film “How Great Is Our God”?  As a sequel to the brilliant macroscopic “Indescribable”, this microscopic documentary examines who God has made us at the cellular level.  He sees us to the core of our being, in the triple dimensions of body, soul and spirit.  He looks into the heart in both the corporeal and the ethereal sense.  So, when I’m looking at an unwashed homeless man and seeing grime, He’s seeing the marvellous molecular structure of the skin cells beneath that grime.  When I’m balking at the man’s leering look, He’s seeing what a miracle the man’s eye is, how the retina picks up light and tells the brain what the image is.  When I’m wondering how the man got himself into this state, He’s looking into the amazing possibilities of the man’s future.  He’s seeing something so rare in the universe and so precious and valuable, that the man is to the backdrop of the stars as a massive diamond is to a field of comparative rubble.  He’s seeing His own image in His handiwork.  He’s seeing a prodigal son.

These are the people I’m walking past every day of my life.  So even on days when all I can offer is a smile to say, “I see you,” hope begins with me.

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