He sees us!
Over the years, I’ve heard non-believers say, “If I could just SEE Jesus, then I would believe in Him.” I heard it again this week.
There have been many times since I gave my heart and life to Jesus in which I’ve also thought, “Oh Jesus, I wish I could just see You right now.” But this week, I’m both reminded and convinced that there’s something even better than seeing Jesus, and that is (drumroll, please):
Being seen by Jesus.
My mind goes back to a silly story from my freshman year in high school. At that time, I had my “perfect life” all planned out. I was going to break all kinds of basketball scoring records in high school, receive a full-ride basketball scholarship to UCLA, and break more records there. Upon graduation, I would be the first woman ever to be invited to play (and beat) the guys in the NBA. I would sign a multi million-dollar contract to be in the starting lineup for the Los Angeles Lakers.
To top off this oh-so-realistic-in-my-mind plan, the signing of my Lakers contract would happen a week after I got back from my honeymoon with my true love, hero, and Lakers all-star, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. We would play that first season together, and then he—being 19 years older than me—would retire and cheer me on from the stands for the next 10 years.
All I had to do was let him know of the plan.
My wonderful parents bought tickets for our family to attend an L.A. Lakers vs. Chicago Bulls game. I took the beautiful watercolor painting I did of Kareem in art class. Surely he would see me waving it from the nosebleed section! Surely he would autograph it for me (as a pre-marriage proposal) after the game!
The Lakers won the game, and I won a huge dose of reality. The four members of my family were among the first in line waiting with great anticipation by the Lakers’ bus out behind the stadium after the game. As I waved my expert painting of Kareem, he and his teammates made their way to the bus.
“Kareem! Kareem! I painted this out of love for you!!! Kareem!!!”
He never even looked my way.
He never even saw me.
He never even wanted to see me.
My 14 year-old heart was crushed.
What does this have to do with Christmas? It’s simple. That night outside the basketball stadium, I learned that it was way more important for my hero to see me than it was for me to see him. I would’ve given anything just to be seen by him.
Christmas is God’s loud and clear declaration and demonstration that:
He forever looks our way.
He forever sees us.
He forever wants to see us.
He didn’t need us, but he noticed us, and Jesus came as the perfect and divine yet humble and human Immanuel – God with us.
This Christmas, even in the midst of this fallen world complete with pain, injustice, and seemingly unanswered prayer, I read the story in the gospels of God coming to earth, and I am more confident and grateful than ever that He sees us, He loves us, and He knows how to best care for us.
Thank You, Lord, for the gift of Christmas!
Matthew 1:22-23 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”). (NIV)