What we can’t see

Camera seeing is not the same as human seeing.   On vacation, Rick and I went out along the C&O Canal in Maryland with camera in hand.  Rick spotted a night heron perched on a fallen branch sticking out of the green, algae-covered water.  The night heron at a distance was a rather unremarkable bird as herons go, identified by its stubby shape.   Later, we downloaded the pictures, and I saw what the camera had seen, but my eye hadn’t.  The heron’s detail was fascinating.  The colors,  indistinguishable at a distance in the sun, were blues, mauves and lavenders.  White stripes on its breast were delicately squiggled with shorter dabs of white under its beak.  The head of the bird had a crest of feathers which was sometimes flattened, but sometimes fluffed up like a blue mohawk.  The camera could see what we couldn’t—an amazing bird.

God, sort of like the camera, sees what humans can’t see.  God once told the prophet Samuel that humans look on outward appearances, but God looks on the heart. Humans want something that looks important, while God’s work is often hidden because God notices people on the inside.  At the time of this discussion, God was revealing who would be the next king of Israel—a kid, the youngest of eight, out watching sheep in the fields, who loved to sing and was a whiz with a slingshot, yet overlooked by his family.  But not overlook by God; instead filled with God’s Spirit.  Name?  David.

You and I were anointed by the God’s Spirit at baptism.  We may be convinced that we are rather ordinary and unremarkable.  What does God see in us that others don’t see?  In fact, what does God see in us, that we ourselves don’t see yet?  And to what does God call us (and our congregations) that we wouldn’t dare to dream on our own?  Most likely it is something quite simple, something we like to do like organizing a gardening, music, running a business, teaching, visiting, sewing quilts, cooking, fixing things or being a dedicated grandparent.  That simple activity, along with a heart that loves God and others, is used and multiplied by God for something significant.  God sees into the heart of things and takes something simple about who we are or what we do and makes it bear fruit in the lives of others.   Often we are unaware that anything of importance happening, but, of course, that’s because God sees what we can’t.  If, however, we do happen to catch a glimpse of what God is doing through us, our response will likely be: Amazing! Thanks be to God!