Reading glasses (25-08-20)
The angel of the Lord found Hagar near a spring in the desert; it was the spring that is beside the road to Shur. And he said, ‘Hagar, slave of Sarai, where have you come from, and where are you going?’ ‘I’m running away from my mistress Sarai,’ she answered. Then the angel of the Lord told her, ‘Go back to your mistress and submit to her.’ The angel added, ‘I will increase your descendants so much that they will be too numerous to count.’ The angel of the Lord also said to her: ‘You are now pregnant and you will give birth to a son. You shall name him Ishmael, for the Lord has heard of your misery. He will be a wild donkey of a man; his hand will be against everyone and everyone’s hand against him, and he will live in hostility towards all his brothers.’ She gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her: ‘You are the God who sees me,’ for she said, ‘I have now seen the One who sees me.’ That is why the well was called Beer Lahai Roi; it is still there, between Kadesh and Bered. So Hagar bore Abram a son, and Abram gave the name Ishmael to the son she had borne. Abram was eighty-six years old when Hagar bore him Ishmael. (Genesis 16:7-16)
Like many people of my age I wear reading glasses. I was very fortunate, I did not have to wear glasses to read until I was well into my forties and when I first had them I could get by without them if I forgot to have them with me, but that is not the case now. When I am doing my weekly shopping I am not able to read my shopping list or read the ‘use by’ dates on things that I am buying without my glasses on. I really enjoy baking but unless I have my glasses on I cannot read the recipe, or see that I have put the oven on at the correct temperature or safely chop up the ingredients. For, although I can see perfectly well anything that is at some distance away, I can’t see small details clearly. There are advantages to this, without my glasses on I can’t see dust on surfaces or small dirty marks or imperfections. Things have a tendency to always look clean.
One day last week my daily reading was the passage of scripture given above from Genesis. Hagar has an encounter with the angel of the Lord and after he has spoken to her she gives God a name, she calls him ‘You are the God who sees me’. The well was also given a name; Beer Lahai Roi means ‘Well of the Living One who sees me’.
We too can say with Hagar that God is the God who sees us. Many of us might prefer it if God needed to wear reading glasses, so that he could not see the small details. But there is nothing wrong with God’s eyesight, he sees us clearly both close up and from a distance. He sees us for exactly who we are, complete with our imperfections and the amazing thing is that he still loves us. In the song ‘Indescribable’, the last chorus says “Indescribable, uncontainable, You placed the stars in the sky, and You know them by name; You are amazing God. Incomparable, unchangeable, You see the depths of my heart and you love me the same; You are amazing God.”
We have a God who sees us clearly and whatever we have done, he still loves us. He is an amazing God.
Dear Lord and Father of Mankind, forgive our foolish ways; reclothe us in our rightful mind; in purer lives thy service find, in deeper reverence praise.
Song: Indescribable (Laura Story: Additional lyrics by Jesse Reeves)