Messages That Scare

Fear Not, I Have Seen You Before

I told Ed, my old neighbor, yesterday that it is hard to see your face without a mirror, but I limit looking in a mirror to the times I shave. Since we are encouraged to stay home in this pandemic, I feel the need to shave less often. When I look in the mirror, it tells me the truth I tend to ignore. There I see an old bald guy looking back at me.

Ed wisely told me that I should be glad that a mirror only shows what we look like on the outside. Any day now, Ed feels they will have a mirror that will show us our insides and spit out a printout of what organs and joints need replacing. He thinks that after the pandemic, we will be into self-doctoring, especially in diagnosis by apps and devices we use at home. We will tell health officials what is wrong with us, and they will come to our house in a hospital equipped van. In the van, they operate, etc. and then return us the patient to our home with a robot to care for us.

I told him I would prefer the invention of a mirror that could reveal all our present feelings, hopes, and even our fears. My old neighbor felt that it would be an invasion of our privacy.

Ed also finds video chats from family and friends to be an invasion of privacy. He complained that they call when they have a free minute, and they catch you in your castle where they can see you and talk with you in whatever situation they find you. It is like company just dropping in on you. With video chats, others can see you watching sports in your underwear because your wife answered their video call.

I told Ed when my daughter video chatted from the Philippines, she looked great, but there I was on the screen looking, totally, old and bald. Seeing myself in my old appearance was distracting. Yes, I should have focused on seeing my daughter, not myself. I told my daughter that I look old and scary. She kindly said, “You look fine; I have seen you before.”

Video chats help us to see ourselves as others see our appearance. Our appearance and the appearance of others are only part of the story of who we are and our present and future. Thankfully God does not look at the outside of us as the most important thing about us but looks at our hearts as of foremost importance.

In the Old Testament, the prophet Samuel was to anoint one of the sons of Jesse at Bethlehem to be king. The Lord instructed Samuel, “The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart. Seven of Jesse’s sons were no chosen to be king, but the youngest son, the one tending sheep, was picked to be king because of God’s direction to Samuel.

Our hearts, not our appearance, matter to God.  Although we can’t see Christ, we believe in Him in our hearts as our Savior and King risen from the dead on the third day. Death could not hold him.

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Raymond Maher
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