I walk the aisles of the grocery store, the Cosco, the Walmart.
I see masked faces.
But I long to see behind the mask.
I see eyes.
Intentionally, I try to look into the eyes and convey, as much as I can, a smile, a reprieve in the midst of the unknown.
I seek to say with my eyes, “I care…and I would stop and hear your story if you wanted to tell it.”
Sometimes I see weariness.
Sometimes I see fear.
Sometimes I see sadness.
Sometimes I see relief that I haven’t looked away…and their eyes smile too.
Rarely, do I see anger…but because of the love of Christ, I meet that anger with a smile as well and hope to plant a seed that the Lord might water in another way.
I long for those who I pass to know that I see beyond the mask, that I “see” them, that they matter.
I look into the eyes of the clerks and ask how they are doing…really. I want them to know there is someone who will not pass them by because “that’s their job” or who is not too afraid to engage them in a conversation if they want one.
And, as I pass the shoppers and engage the clerks, I’m asking the Lord to remind me in that moment to pray for them.
He knows their names, and He knows their stories…behind the masks.
Behind the fearful, joyful, relief-filled, or angry eyes are lives being lived in the present.
Behind the eyes are souls.
They are people living in light of eternity, moving toward one life to come or another.
And that matters.
Yes, life here and now matters. It is a whisper sometimes lived as a roar, but it will only last a certain number of days here…and then, forever.
And that matters.
I see you…but even better God sees you, and He knows your name.
This is the God before whom each will stand one day.
It is this God who is worthy!
It is this God who spoke the world into existence and formed man and woman…all for His glory.
It is this God who sent His Son to reconcile man to Himself, He who is holy, holy, holy, and only by His Son can we be redeemed children of God.
It is this God who we can know and by whom we can be known.
It is this God with whom we can walk these beautiful as well as hard days with sure step and before whom we can bow now with our lives and in eternity…and find great joy in that!
It is this God who sees, who most certainly sees behind the mask, behind the eyes, and into the very heart of each man and woman.
It is this God before whom we can lay bare all that is in our past and present that is far from Him, ask His forgiveness, then leave it at the cross as we move on to a life and an eternity that is rooted in the finished work of Jesus as He rose from the grave! It is finished for those who give their lives to Him!
It is this God to whom we may humbly lay down our lives and find life that is truly life!
It is this God who says, “I see you…and you are dearly loved!”
“For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.” I Corinthians 13:12