Most of us parents play hiding games with our children. When our children are young we play peek-a-boo. We enjoy the giggling that this creates, and the way their young faces light up with laughter when they see us. Later we are more likely to play hide-and-seek and as we seek our children, their muffled squeaks and laughter often give them away and we may pretend not to see a protruding foot, or a movement.
There is another way of seeing: not who or what we see but how. How do we see our children? Do we see them as kind hearted? Honest or dishonest? Generous or selfish?
We often describe not only our children but also friends, work colleagues, fellow parishioners and others in the way that we see them.
This type of “seeing” is so common amongst us humans it makes me wonder: how does God see me? What would He have seen when I was at Mass last Sunday: committed and engaged in the Mass; or daydreaming about the football match or lunch? What if He saw me at work: would He see me giving of my best; or clock watching and doing the minimum possible? At home: loving and caring spouse and parent; or selfish and critical? Would He see me as generous with money and time; or stingy?
We do not, of course, know directly how our Father sees us, but we can get clues – often rather too clear clues – as to how He might see us. The clues come from the reactions of others to us. If people trust us, then perhaps we are trustworthy; if they come to us for help, then perhaps we are helpful; if they come to us in times of trouble, then perhaps we are empathetic.
And so next time we go to the Lord in prayer, perhaps we could reflect and ask: Lord, how do you see me? Be gentle with me, Lord, but show me how to be a better person – more like the person You call me to be.