Selected by reader, Tom, from Raleigh, NC
When reading through this post, the contrast of self deception (“no one sees me”) compared to God’s omnipresence was quite stark and unsettling. I can look back on my own life and see with dismay times where I have thought, “no one sees me,” and or practiced “self-justification” to avoid having to own up to my sin. Yet, as I read on, my spirit was refreshed with God’s goodness. He does not leave us alone but rather seeks us out to restore and heal!
Originally posted June 15, 2018 with readings from Isaiah 47 and Revelation 17
You have trusted in your wickedness
and have said, ‘No one sees me.’
Your wisdom and knowledge mislead you
when you say to yourself,
‘I am, and there is none besides me.’ — Isaiah 47.10
Reflection: Forgiven in God’s Sight :: Readers’ Choice
The Park Forum
No one sees me—Adam as he hid in the garden of Eden.
No one sees me—David after he dominated Bathsheba and sent her away.
No one sees me—Peter as he cowered into the night after the crowds identified him as a follower of Christ.
The eyes of the Lord are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good. — Proverbs 15.3
“Where are you?” God’s voice called after Adam.
“You are that man!” the prophet cried to David.
“And Peter remembered the saying of Jesus, ‘Before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.’ And he went out and wept bitterly.”
Each had legitimate reasons—wisdom and knowledge—that explained what happened and could help self-justify so their lives could move forward. But, “I am and there is no one besides me”— the mantra of self-actualization—quickly turned to “I AM was beside me.” Each caught in their sin.
And, yet, none were left alone. None were crushed for moral failure. God saw not only their sin, but the path of restoration. Richard Rohr remarks:
Perhaps the most difficult forgiveness, the greatest letting go, is to forgive ourselves for doing it wrong. We need to realize that we are not perfect, and we are not innocent. If I want to maintain an image of myself as innocent, superior, or righteous, I can only do so at the cost of truth. We have for too long confused holiness with innocence, whereas holiness is actually mistakes overcome and transformed, not necessary mistakes avoided.
Letting go is different than denying or repressing. To let go of it, you have to admit it. You have to own it. You see it and you hand it over to God. You refuse to let the negative storyline that you’ve wrapped yourself around define your life.
Letting go of our cherished images of ourselves is really the way to heaven, because when you fall down to the bottom, you fall on solid ground, the Great Foundation, the bedrock of God. It looks like an abyss, but it’s actually a foundation. On that foundation, you have nothing to prove, nothing to protect: “I am who I am who I am,” and for some unbelievable reason, that’s what God has chosen to love.
Prayer: The Refrain for the Morning Lessons
Deliverance belongs to the Lord. Your blessing be upon your people! — Psalm 3.8
– Prayer from The Divine Hours: Prayers for Autumn and Wintertime by Phyllis Tickle.
Read more about You Are The Man — Embracing Prophetic Responsibility
With Christians and political leaders, it’s a short journey from cozy to cozened. It’s easy to be like chapter seven Nathan, but few are willing to be chapter twelve Nathan.
Read More about Meals Together, Forgiveness to Go
Christ’s breakfast on the shore is a model for us of gathering those who have failed, reinstating each other through Christ’s redemption, and being sent out to feed others.
Support our Work
Each month over 22,000 Park Forum email devotionals are read around the world. Support our readers with a monthly or a one time donation.