As spring returns, I’m taken back to memories from my early years of parenting. In the fresh spring afternoons, I remember looking out the kitchen window watching our girls play outside. Often times, there would come a moment where they’d look up and see me watching them. We’d exchange a glance. I’d smile. They’d smile even bigger. And we’d connect in a moment, over a glance of love. No words spoken. No words were needed.
As the sun would lower, my little girls would bound in the house with delighted and exhausted expressions over their hours of play. Sometimes, their little hands offered up a freshly picked bouquet of dandelions and from a shiny yet dirty little face would come the words, “Mommie! I brought you a surprise.” I would listen to their stories, care for their needs and help them settle in for a nights rest. Our little glances while they played kept us connected.
It’s a powerful moment for each of us, when like little girls at play, we look up and realize that our Father is returning our glance. His gaze encourages. It’s life giving, drawing us towards whatever is true, honest, pure, lovely and good. Author Dallas Willard described the experience of God’s presence as “a Spirit of exalted peacefulness and confidence, of joy, of sweet reasonableness and of goodwill . . . . It is the Spirit of Jesus.”
Our lives are better in His presence. Think about the women whose lives were changed when they experienced the power of God “seeing” them. From Mary, who rejoices that God saw her and called her for His purposes, to Hagar who experienced God’s compassionate gaze rescuing her from certain death when she had no where else to turn. Different circumstances. Both noticed by God. Both, the better for it.
I think as women, we long to be noticed, to be seen and to be valued.
I think as women, we long to be noticed, to be seen and to be valued. Perhaps this is part of God’s imprint on our heart. Sometimes, I marvel at the irony that while I work hard to be noticed in my work or life roles, the One who really adores me (and adores each of us) is gazing out the window, as a parent noticing His daughters. Perhaps He is waiting for me to stop and look up so that we can communicate with a knowing, loving glance.
Setting our gaze upon God and receiving His loving response is a good place to begin cultivating a listening heart and hearing God’s voice in our lives. In our fast-paced world, something so easy can be difficult to do. I find that when I set my mind on spending time in God’s presence, everything–I mean everything–seems to get in the way. However, each time I seek His audience and drop my “to-do list” I’m rewarded with encouragement and clarity. When I steady my gaze on God and cultivate a listening heart, I invite the wisdom of God into my today and my future. My plans become His plans and His plans become mine.
This spring as the earth is waking up and new life emerging all around us, allow your heart to awaken with the steady and life-giving gaze of God.