John 17:11-19

I've felt all my life that sight is such a precious gift of God. Losing ones eyesight and becoming blind is a loss I can scarcely imagine. Yet there is a greater and deeper blindness in our lives than the loss of eyesight. And that blindness affects most all of us in one way or another. What is it that we are simply not seeing? What are we missing? Most of us do not see what God sees. We imagine we know what God sees in us, and we're convinced it's not pretty. But we're wrong. So let's try to get this right!

Imagine for a moment that we are sitting face to face, alone with God. God looks us in the eye and tells us exactly what God sees. What do you think God says? Does God rant and yell? Is God sarcastic and biting? Does God threaten us or look away in disgust? No! God does none of that.

I think God might start the conversation with us by saying “Look at how you've grown!” Then God will remind us of many days and many events that we've long forgotten, times when we struggled mightily against great odds and prevailed, times when we were confused and frightened but didn't give up, and yes, times when we really messed things up but had the strength of mind and readiness of heart to begin anew. God sees all that effort in us, and how much wiser and compassionate we are now than we used to be. Then, with a parent's delight, God says again: “Look how you've grown!”

But then we say to ourselves: “What about my sins, my failures, my shortcomings?” Our Loving God hears our unspoken questions and responds: “I know you're not done yet. I don't expect you to be. What's more, I know that before you're done, you'll stumble and fall many times more – that's no surprise! Remember, I made you, and I made you able to learn a little bit at a time from your mistakes. So keep learning! Keep your heart open. And remember how happy I am at your successes. I delight in your victories, large and small.”

That's how God sees us – with the love and affection of a caring parent. And what God sees in us is the real truth that sets us free. To see ourselves the way God sees us is a gift of faith. To see ourselves any other way is blindness. So we pray: Gracious God, give sight to us who are blind. Open our eyes that we may see in ourselves and in each other all the goodness that You see in us. Open our hearts and our eyes to love as You love. Amen!

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