Friday, April 14, 2006

There Is No Thing God Does Not See

The wheels in Ezekiel's vision are covered with eyes. That tells us that there is nothing God does not see.

When I was growing up, our church would sing a hymn that creeped me out. Actually, there were a few, but the one I'm thinking of here went like this:

All along on the road to the soul's true abode,
There's an Eye watching you.
Every step that you take this great Eye is awake,
There's an Eye watching you.
Watching you, watching you,
Everyday mind the course you pursue;
Watching you, watching you,
There's an all-seeing Eye watching you.

Cue the scary music. We're being watched.

The story goes the songwriter (J.M. Henson) was at a revival meeting where he heard the revival leader tell a group of boys who had misbehaved the previous night, "We're expecting order here and you had better be careful, because there's an all-seeing eye watching you tonight."

The revival leader meant the county sheriff whom he had invited personally to the revival. Henson saw God as the ultimate sheriff and wrote the lyric above.

Usually when we tell people, "God is watching you!" we're trying to scare or intimidate them into behaving well. And there's probably a place for that. But when Ezekiel -- turning 30 and living 700 miles from home near the Kebar River -- finds out that there is nothing God does not see -- it means something more.

God does see all of our bad behavior. But he also sees every hurt, every frustration. He sees the rejection and the confusion. He notices every time one of his servants does for others without getting anything in return. He sees your motives and intentions, and he knows what you would do if you could. He sees the suffering of his people in prison and in orphanages and in hospitals. He sees people who continue to do the right thing even when they are not rewarded for it. He sees everything. For a lot of folks, there's more comfort in that thought than there is warning.

The first lesson of Ezekiel's crazy vision is this: There is no place God cannot go.

The second lesson is this: There is no thing God does not see.