For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.1 Corinthians 13:12
When I was a young professional in Pittsburgh, I remember stopping my car at a crosswalk for someone who paused, looked at me knowingly and smiled. Somewhere in my soul I felt it was the Lord, looking out through human eyes, reminding me of his continual presence.
As I sit writing this morning, feeling fall’s coolness infuse the waning summer breeze, I see the rising sun and gentle mist over the trees and witness the glory of creation. The undeniable beauty, detail and power of creation is one way all of humanity sees God:
For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities –his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.Romans 1:20
Yet ultimately there is something far more significant to see: Jesus. As he told Philip:
If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”John 14:9
Seeing Jesus for this generation is a little less about the eyes and more about the heart. I carry in my mind’s eye an image of the Lord, one that refines in depth and dimension with each year of knowing and loving him more through reading the Bible, participating in the community of believers and serving him.
In my favorite book to cite here, Imagine Heaven, this time the devotional, everyone from every faith tradition knows Jesus immediately upon sight. Here are some of their beautiful descriptions that seem to defy words:
I was filled with awe at his beautiful presence — Gary
I was so consumed by his presence that I dropped to my knees and looked up at him. He is so glorious, so beautiful. All light inside of Light. — Khalida
Seeing the majesty and indescribable beauty of the Lord made me speechless…When I was in his presence it was all I wanted. –Samaa
Seeing God, it turns out, requires more than our eyesight. It requires us to pursue him with everything, as he pursues us:
You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.Jeremiah 29:13