There’s a chapter in the book called “Unseen”. It is one of the lies Satan tells us, especially as women. We are, by our very nature, unseen. We aren’t worth looking at. How do we cope with this lie? We dress differently. Perhaps at first we dress fancier, though most of us have also tried dressing for the shock factor. You know it, the shorter skirts, the tight, revealing tops. We dress with very little material covering our bodies because we want to be seen.
Let me just stop right there to tell you that this is not a post on modesty.
How often do we try everything we can to be noticed and looked upon? We change the way we dress, the way we talk, the crowd we hang out with, nearly everything about ourselves. We have become so desperate to be seen.
But what happens when someone actually looks at us and sees into our souls?
We are so desperate to be looked at, but so afraid of being truly seen. What happens when someone sees into our souls? We quiver, we hide, we want to run away. We wanted to be looked at, but we didn’t want to be seen, at least not that intimately. You see, our world has taught us to be looked at is desirable. So, we change ourselves so that we will be noticed. But in that changing we begin to change more than our clothes or the way we talk, we begin to change who we are, so much so that when another looks into our souls we want nothing more than to run and hide. Whoever it is, be it God, a potential or real significant other, it almost doesn’t matter. Our response is, “Stop looking at my soul. I don’t like what I see, and neither will you.”
We’ve become so surface level, haven’t we? Being looked at, being seen and intimately known (and I’m not talking about anything physical here, folks) is actually quite terrifying. We fear letting someone in that much, we fear that they will see all of the stuff we’ve been brushing under the rug of our souls. What’s more is that if this other person sees the stuff under our rugs, we fear that we’ll have to change. It is one thing to hide our junk, but when another person sees it, and still looks at us with love, we are motivated and inspired to change, to sweep out all of the clutter under the rug. But here’s the thing: under the rug is messy, dusty, dirty, and disgusting and cleaning it out (read: bettering ourselves) is hard work. It can even be painful work. No wonder we fear being truly seen. We fear change. Dare I say we fear love.
When God looks into my soul and pierces me with His goodness, I see, with painful clarity, all of the things that are less than holy in my own heart. Letting God (who is Love) love me in such an intimate way is downright terrifying. It is far easier to love God than to truly let Him love me. His love pierces my soul as I see in Him all the goodness that I am seeking. When I encounter His goodness and His perfection, I can’t help but want to better myself. The same is true when another human being sees us in this intimate way: by allowing them to see us, we are motivated towards perfection.
“So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.” – Matthew 5:48
That verse makes me cringe because I know how far from perfect I am. I don’t want to be seen by perfection, I don’t want encounter perfection because then I’ll actually have to work. Tearing those old wounds open so that He can heal them is tough stuff. We beg to be looked upon, but we fear being truly seen, intimately known, and pierced with love. Why? Because love isn’t satisfied leaving us where we are. Love, in all of its true forms, desires to bring us to perfection, and perfection ain’t easy. So what are we really begging for? To be merely looked upon, or to be truly, intimately, deeply seen and loved, and moved towards perfection and holiness? There’s an easy road and a hard road. In Deuteronomy God tells us, “See, I have set before you life and good, death and evil.” The choice is ours: to be looked at, or to be seen, known, loved, and found…worthy.