Thursday, January 14, 2010

Praying II

I love to look at the pictures on the walls. This is true in my own home as well as the homes of friends, or even strangers for that matter. The pictures that make it into frames are special. They have meaning. Some are professional, so the lighting is just right and everyone is clean and shiny. Others catch the magic of the day, offering sensory detail. I just put some new pictures up last weekend and find myself stopping and staring, arms full of this or that, as I absorb the details of the little faces I have left causing mischief upstairs. This one shows the bright blue of her eyes. That one makes his chestnut skin glow. He was so content and happy inside the combine wheel. She stomps along the beach, swinging her arms, oblivious to the world. The baby grins at Grandma.

I don’t think I will ever replace the photo on my desk. It is of my son, beaming as he sits on the lap of a guard at the children’s home where we met him. His perfect little fingers are clutching a ball and he is looking right at the camera. The guard is also smiling, looking off in the distance, aware both of the beautiful child on his lap and his duty to defend. It captures for me all of what is good about God. He holds us close, but not tightly and is big enough to protect and love.

And so I pray: Let me see them as you see them. God formed my children in their respective wombs, designed them with good purposes in mind. When he looks at them, he sees their best self, the one he intended them to be. Not because he is far off or unaware of the things we all do to cheapen the gifts we have been given. He knows. But when he looks he sees the precious souls inside the little bodies and is mindful of the big dreams he has for each one. Their faces brighten, they stand taller, warmed by the steady gaze of a heart that loves them as they are. And those are the eyes I want to see through. Those are the eyes I want to use to see my husband. And the college student who doesn’t make eye contact at the grocery store. And the kid who hits my kid at school. Those are the eyes I want to see with. In each moment. Everyday.

“But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not consider his appearance or his height…The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.’” I Samuel 16:7

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