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What does God See?

Blog by Sr. Anne Lythgoe, OP

Lately I have been asking this question: What does God see? When we were growing up we learned that God sees EVERYTHING. But think about the question, what does God see?

God sees us as whole human beings, our past, our present, our hopes, our fears, our struggles and our faith, but most of all God sees in us, all of that ALL AT THE SAME TIME. It is all one for God. God does not see your good parts one day and your failings another day. We might see that-- but God just sees you and God just sees me. God sees your youth, your middle years, your old age. God sees you now whole and holy, somewhat incomplete, but on the way to being a fully realized person.

No moment in time, no slip up, no sin, no failure or defect can separate us from God.  Even if there still remains in us some lack of forgiveness perhaps or an unfinished “something”.

This is the message of Paul in Roman 8:38-39: “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” I would add, not even our past.

When we remember family and friends that have gone home to God, it is all love now.  God now sees those we have lost in a most complete and fully realized way.  God sees those we love with the eyes of love. God sees each of us as whole, that is, God cannot see just one part, God sees every part of each of us as one life: one precious, beautiful, exquisite son or daughter.  Nothing now, in the past, or in the future, can separate us or our loved one from the love of God.

What does God see when God looks at us, when we fail or when something we did hurts another person? God sees people of faith, people of hope, even if on some days we only see a small slice of what God sees.  If we can look at each other the way God looks at us, would there be anyone hungry among us? Would there be anyone a stranger among us? Would there be any room for hate? Could we do anything less than feel compassion and offer forgiveness?

When we look at each other the way God sees us, there is no hate, there is no fear, nor judgment, no disappointment - only forgiveness and joy.

This is what it might be like in heaven. God’s gaze is on those who have gone before us and God looks at them and is smiling, God is satisfied, is happy that our mother, our father, our brother or sister, friend or family member is now home. When we look at our own lives and the lives of others the way God sees us, freedom is born anew. We are free from regret, we gain a capacity for forgiveness, and compassion is planted in our souls.

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