Smeagol is Free!
A hermitudinal view of...stuff...


In the Eyes

Chris said something during a random coversation at church today, and I filed it away for more contemplation later. He mentioned that since he's become a father, he's noticed that his conversational habits have changed. Chris noted that he now tends to look around the room casually, rather than looking his fellow conversant in the eye, so as to be able to see if his kids are hanging from any light fixtures or doing anything of that nature. I laughed, remembering that all the seasoned parents I know do much the same thing. We then went on to talk about how looking someone in the eye when speaking to them can lead one to feel very, very vulnerable, particularly if the person one is conversing with is Ryan Fullerton.

But that's not what I filed away to contemplate, even though Ryan's conversational habits are quite intriguing.

During that conversation, I was struck by how I often feel as though I can't look God "in the eyes." I know that when I realize I've sinned, I will sometimes go through a period of time where I simply want to run from Him. Believe me, I'm fully aware of the fact that this sounds like an absolutely absurd notion; in fact, that's precisely why I bring it up.

I try to ignore Him. I slink away. Scurry, even. I pretend I'm too busy, too tired, or just plain too good for God, ironically showing my idiocy with a holier-than-Thou attitude. I won't say it like that, but that's what I do. Sometimes, on my really creative days, I'll toss all of 'em together for an especially smashing good pride-fest. All of them are ways that I, a massive sinner, will conjure up so that I don't have to face Him, look Him in the eyes.

How wicked of me to treat the LORD like that.

I've been reading through 2 Corinthians 2 - 5 this week. Toward the end of chapter 3 and continuing on through the beginning of chapter 4, Paul talks about the liberty, or freedom, we have been granted by God. This freedom is not freedom as man defines it; rather, it is the gracious freedom we have in Christ to behold the face of our holy God in all His divine glory and not be subject to wrath. When I thought about looking God in the eyes, I thought about the grace He gives in allowing me to do just that. It is no small thing that I should be able to behold God in such a manner and not perish; yet, I treat it so. I forget who God is, and even more foolishly, I forget what He has done in Christ, which totally changes how I relate to Him. Where once I was His enemy, I am now His child. Where once I was an object of wrath, I am now an object of grace.

I know what it's like to feel complete freedom to look toward God, to long to see Christ face to face on that day. I also know what it's like to feel ashamed, to try and run away from that shame, or put up walls of falsehood to hide my sin. Yet, as uncomfortable as I feel under the weight of God's holy gaze, it's striking to realize that because of Christ, that gaze is not one that leads to death. Even in my sin, God is merciful, and He longs to show me that that mercy has no bounds. If anything, the fact that I feel discomfort is an indication He's undoing the knots of sin that have entangled my soul, loosening them that I might walk joyfully in the freedom of life in Christ once more.

*Sigh* know, as much as I try to look away from my Father in shame, my Father has never looked away from His child in shame. If anything, He's constantly looking toward me, watching me, waiting for me to look back toward Him.

posted by Bolo | 9:39 PM
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