Help me see as You see
I have little cards dotted all around my house – by my desk, in the kitchen, on my mirror – with those six words on.
I guess we often pray the prayers in the areas we feel weak in, the areas in our life in which we’re consciously aware that without God’s help nothing will ever change. I know how I’m naturally prone to see people and circumstances. And I also know it’s not always pretty.
One of my sons asked me this morning, ‘Mummy, what does it mean when you always pray that prayer? I don’t understand how we can see as God sees.’
I told him it means that we ask God to help us see beyond what someone seems like on the outside, and to see the good, the treasure, inside of someone. It means that when we see stuff that is ugly in someone else’s heart, we choose not to judge but to offer mercy, knowing that is exactly what Jesus has done for us. It means that we don’t just look at circumstances from a selfish, or a short-term viewpoint; we look at them through the eyes of an all-loving, eternal God.
When Jesus walked on earth He saw the brokenness in every person’s heart. And He chose to call people into something more, something bigger and something better.
There’s a story in the bible. Jesus is at the home of a very ‘religious’ man, Simon. A woman turns up to the house, uninvited. Not only is she uninvited, she also happens to be a prostitute. You can almost hear the ‘tuts’ in the room, as this woman shamelessly wipes her tears off Jesus’ feet with her hair, and then proceeds to pour perfume all over them. Simon assumes that Jesus clearly isn’t the prophet He claims to be, or surely He’d know what kind of woman this was. But Simon’s assumption couldn’t have been further from the truth.
Simon saw a prostitute. Jesus saw a beloved child of God.
Simon saw a woman disgracing herself. Jesus saw a woman who loved.
Simon saw a sinner. Jesus saw a forgiven woman.
Simon saw a waste. Jesus saw worship.
Same place. Same room. Same woman.
Different eyes. Different sight. Different filter.
Simon had a rules and regulations filter, and this woman was breaking every single rule.
Jesus saw through the filter of love, grace, and mercy.
And this woman fulfilled the one requirement. This precious woman loved much because she’d been forgiven much. And Jesus saw it all.
It’s easy for us to to ‘tut’ at Simon and his ‘religious’ response. But on any given day I know that I can be just like Simon. Each of us will have different people whom we are more likely to judge. For me, it’s not the poor and the outcast – I’m more likely to have compassion towards them. No, the ones for whom I have to pray ‘Help me see as You see’ are the everyday people around me, the people most like me: the educated, the privileged, the Christians, my kids …
I see the educated Christian who makes, what I consider to be, poor choices, and judge them for the mess they’ve got themselves in. I fail to see the insecurities, or the difficult circumstances that have brought them to that place. I forget that I could just as easily be that person making poor choices.
I see my kids arguing over where to sit for breakfast. Again. And I fail to see that they’re just clamouring to feel special.
I see the friend who keeps pushing me away. And I fail to see that maybe it just feels too scary for her to be vulnerable.
I see. But I don’t really see. I just see the surface stuff. I see with my own filter, my own lens, my own baggage, my own judgement.
I see. But not like He sees.
How much would our lives change if we dared to pray that prayer and believe that God would answer it?
Help me see as You see