God Sees You
The artist, Marina Abramovic spent three months performing her art at MoMA. Her art was this -- she sat in a chair across from an empty chair. Museum goers were invited to sit in the chair. She looked at them. No, she looked deeply into them. The exhibit was wildly successful. People stood in line for hours and even days just to get 15 minutes to sit with her. Her exhibit demonstrated the deep need people have to be seen.
This psalm describes a God that sees us. At first glance, it might seem disconcerting to imagine a God whose eyes are always on us -- images of Big Brother come to mind. But when we put God's vision in light of the draw of Abramovic's art exhibit, the text brings a completely different meaning. In a world where people are screaming for attention, it seems many of us are craving for someone to notice us. We get lost in a sea of celebrity, crowds at concerts and sporting events, and social media streams. Will somebody, somewhere, notice us?
God sees you. You are not alone. You are not anonymous. You are valuable. You are worthy. You are seen.
An interesting thing happened one day as Abramovic was performing her art. Her long-time lover, whom she had not seen in 23 years, sat across from her. Suddenly, the artist known for seeing was being seen by someone who had loved her once. It was a profound moment for both of them. The artist that was seeing could not participate in the exhibit without also being affected herself.
God sees you. And God, the artist, is profoundly affected by being seen by you.
Narrative Lectionary Text: Psalm 11
To the leader. Of David.
In the Lord I take refuge; how can you say to me,
‘Flee like a bird to the mountains;
for look, the wicked bend the bow,
they have fitted their arrow to the string,
to shoot in the dark at the upright in heart.
If the foundations are destroyed,
what can the righteous do?’
The Lord is in his holy temple;
the Lord’s throne is in heaven.
His eyes behold, his gaze examines humankind.
The Lord tests the righteous and the wicked,
and his soul hates the lover of violence.
On the wicked he will rain coals of fire and sulphur;
a scorching wind shall be the portion of their cup.
For the Lord is righteous;
he loves righteous deeds;
the upright shall behold his face.