Tag Archives: God sees you

Watched Vs Seen

I remember a song that we sang in Bible School, “Oh be careful little eyes what you see….For the Father up above is looking down below.” We didn’t sing it often, but it was enough to give me spiritual paranoia. God is watching. All. The. Time.

When I know I’m being watched, the walls go up. One time at the grocery store, I picked up and promptly dropped a jar of preserves. It was an accident, but I felt every eye in that store watching me. I wanted the aisle to swallow me up in that moment, or at the very least I wanted to quickly develop an invisibility superpower.

But most of the time, I don’t think about it. When I put up a post or picture online, I don’t really think about all the people who view that post. I usually think of a few people who might read it, but not much beyond that. However, if I realize just how many people are looking at something I wrote, all I can think about are all the flaws in that post, or flaws in other things I have posted that people might also be looking at. It can be paralyzing!

While being watched is a kind of exposure that gives way to paralyzing fear, being seen means being made vulnerable in a safe, non-judgmental place. Being watched is passive while being seen seems more active. And I think that is what God does, instead of just watching us, he truly sees us.

Yes, God sees your flaws and your brokenness. But he also sees your broken heart as well. He didn’t just watch his creation from afar. He came down close to it. In Jesus, we see a God who looks us in our eyes and sees us. Really sees us.

Photo by Frans Van Heerden on Pexels.com

Like the woman at the well in Samaria, Jesus watched her approach, but in conversation with her, showed her that he truly saw who she was. He listed her living reality with no judgment and allowed her to respond. She was a woman used to being watched. Why do you think she went to that well at the hottest part of the day? But when she was truly seen, her life changed. Transformed.

So, if I’m suppose to be a Jesus-follower, then I need to learn how to see, not watch. It’s so easy, even in social media, to scroll through and consume the stories of other people, making easy, fast judgments, instead of taking the time to really see people for who they are.

It means prioritizing my time and my relationships with other people. It means that I focus less on the number of followers I have and more on the people God has sent into my life. It’s being open. It’s not putting too much stake in what people think when they watch me. It’s slowing down. It’s trusting God to pull down some of my own walls that are blocking my ability to see others.

Sure, God is watching. But more importantly, God is seeing. He walks with me. He guides me. And I pray that I can continue to embrace vulnerability and humility in the same way Jesus did, trying to be more and more like him every day.

Psalm 139:1-5

You have searched me, Lord,
    and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
    you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
    you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue
    you, Lord, know it completely.
You hem me in behind and before,
    and you lay your hand upon me

Psalms 139:1-5 (NIV)

“You know me.” A quote I heard this week spoke about the desire not just to be heard, but to be understood. I talk a lot, though not quite as much as I did when I was younger. And I think part of that is I started telling the difference between whether someone was really listening to me, or if they were just waiting for their turn to talk. When the latter happens, I tend to quiet down and let them talk, much preferring to give up my time to talk than to try to fight my voice back into the conversation.

But the God of the heavens knows me. He knows the words on my tongue before I speak them. He knows my thoughts. And not just knowing me, but hems me in behind and before. He protects me. He doesn’t leave my side. He wants to be near me. It’s one of the most astounding things in the Bible, that the creator of the universe knows who I am. Even when I feel overlooked or isolated, the truth is that I am not. I am seen. I am heard.

And you are seen, and you are heard. You are not overlooked. You are not forgotten. You have not been isolated. The God of the heavens sees you and knows your ways, your thoughts, every word you will speak. Not necessarily because he is all-knowing (though he is), but because he is familiar with you. Like a parent knowing their child because they watched them grow up. That is God to you and to me. He is our Father. He won’t forsake us. And that is pretty cool.