“So she called the name of the Lord who spoke to her, ‘You are a God of seeing,’ for she said, ‘Truly here I have seen him who looks after me.‘” Hagar in response to God’s care for her (Genesis 16:3)
God is Always Gazing Upon Us
When we contemplate God, that is to say gaze upon God, we are gazing upon the one who is always gazing upon us. When we ponder God, he is already pondering us. He contemplates us perpetually.
Paul exhorts us to “fix our mind on things above where Christ is seated at the right hand of the Father (Colossians 3:1-4).” When we do so, we are reminded that his mind is already fixed upon us.
He is always the initiator, we are always the responder.
Its All About the Relationship
There is much todo about contemplative spirituality in the Evangelical world today. At times I find I get lost in all these practices I am encouraged to be about: lectio divina, silence, solitude, contemplative prayer, etc. Those are good practices certainly. I engage in many of them.
Yet, I am reminded that in the end it is not about the practice but about the relationship. These practices are a means to an end. They facilitate my being with God, open and receptive towards him.
If you struggle with this whole contemplative topic, or if you would like a more solid biblical orientation, then I strongly encourage you to purchase and download this article from The Journal of Spiritual Formation and Soul Care. The article is $5 and can be downloaded as a pdf. The entire issue is worth the $15. JSFSC is a pricey journal ($30/year) but I have benefited immensely from my subscription over the years. But I digress…
Withholding Eye Contact
Witholding eye contact from someone can be a deliberate means of hurting another. It is generally a passive-aggressive way of relating. However, sometimes we are simply not aware that our attention is so adamatly desired.
Of course, God needs nothing from us. He is sufficient in himself. Yet, he opens himself up to us in relationship and invites us ever deeper in.
Imagine God always gazing upon us, eager for his gaze to be received and returned.
How are you responding to God’s gazing upon?
How are you returning his gaze?
What have your found helpful to facilitate your gazing upon God in your journey with him? Please share.