“We don’t focus on the things that can be seen but on the things that can’t be seen. The things that can be seen don’t last, but the things that can’t be seen are eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:18).
When I read this verse a few weeks ago, it immediately made me think of all the CSI television shows I enjoy watching, from the original to Miami to New York, as well as the Behavioral Analysis Unit of Criminal Minds. I know those shows are scripted, but I am still fascinated by the things that they observe, as well as the things that they don’t see at a crime scene. A picture that isn’t on a wall, food that’s conspicuously absent from a refrigerator, jewelry not in a box, or even a body missing from the scene of a crime. I don’t know how realistic the scripts are, but I sometimes wish I could develop the observational skills of those investigators.
So my question is: how do we focus on something we cannot see? How do we keep our eye on something that we cannot observe? How do we make sure we don’t lose sight of those things that are invisible and eternal?
When we look at each other (or ourselves in a mirror), it is easy to see errors, shortcoming and failures. It’s not so easy to see the redeemed, the forgiven and the saints. All that is only visible by faith, for God’s Word declares us to be redeemed, forgiven and the saints of God. That’s who we are! Do you believe that? Can you see that in someone else?
One of the things I’m doing each day is asking, “What didn’t I see today?” What pain, loneliness or disappointment was hidden behind a smiling face? What insecurities, fears or doubt was hidden behind a friendly greeting? It’s all there. We just don’t see those things because they’re disguised behind busyness, spirituality and the good parts of our lives revealed in public.
How can I learn to see the unseen?