The Gaze of Love

Sep 6 / Lacy Finn Borgo
Behold God beholding you …. and smiling. -Anthony DeMello

Have you ever thought about how God sees you?

How we perceive God seeing us affects every dimension of our lives. How we think God see us changes how we approach God in prayer, it affects how we live our lives, the choices we make, our interactions with others and even how we see ourselves.

Years ago, I had the sacred honor of being at the bedside of my great aunt as her body succumbed to breast cancer and her spirit met face to face the Jesus she loved. During her transition she often asked us to read from the Psalms and sing hymns.

I will never forget singing the hymn Amazing Grace with my family, surrounded surely by the many who had walked this shadowy valley before. Our hearts were broken and our spirits one by our love.

As we got to the words, “a wretch like me.” My beloved aunt, who hadn’t spoken in days and was within 24 hours of being in the tangible presence of God, said with conviction and authority, “Jesus said not to sing that song.”

We looked at each other with bewilderment. Knowing that the mind and body transiting into a everlasting reality with God can do and say things we do not understand. We changed songs and shrugged it off. But after nearly two decades, I still think about it.

Would God call his beloved children “wretches?” Broken, wounded and wounding, suffering, struggling, yes, we are.

But “wretched?”

Webster offers two definitions. The first is a person who is miserable and profoundly unhappy. Well now that certainly resonates with certain seasons of my life. The second definition is a base, despicable or vile person. While we might see ourselves this way, God does not.

In the last chapter of John, after the crucifixion, betrayal, burial, doubt, resurrection, shame, and disbelief, Jesus calls his disciples, “children.” A child in the embrace of our Loving Divine Parent is our fundamental identity. Nothing can ever change this.

Coming to terms with this Reality shapes our entire lives. It takes an entire lifetime and perhaps more to live into it.

This is how God sees us. This is God’s loving gaze.

Take a moment and reflect on how you see God seeing you.

It might help to reflect on the loving gaze of someone who has loved you. Perhaps a parent, a friend, a lover or a child.

For some of us it can be difficult to locate a person who has looked at us in a way that is loving.

Let me broaden your search.

Kaiser-Francis is part Labrador and part who-knows-what. His white fur is continuously matted and shedding. In this season of his life, he gets up slowly and gladly watches the deer from the deck rather than chasing them. He sleeps at the foot of my bed and escorts me to and from the house, no matter the time of day, or where I’m headed. Over the years he has protected and nursed every young creature born here, from kittens, to chicks, horses, goats, and children. He is loyal, brave, and endlessly loving.

In my loneliest moments where no persons or words could bring comfort, Kaiser-Francis sat nearby offering his silent presence as balm for my soul. In seasons riddled with guilt, he has been a faithful listener, never judging only offering consolations.

Before dismissing my raggedly old dog as reflection of the image of God. Remember that every living thing bears the Divine’s fingerprints. Remember, God is hell bent on connecting with us and will use just about anything to do so.

Take a moment today to behold God beholding you.

God’s gaze may look like a parent, pastor, or beloved friend. Or it might even look like an old dog with matted fur. 

Lacy Finn Borgo

Lacy Finn Borgo, DMin, teaches and provides spiritual direction for various organizations in spiritual formation and spiritual direction including, Renovaré, The Companioning Center and Mercy Center, Burlingame. Lacy has a spiritual direction and supervision of spiritual directors ministry for adults, and provides spiritual direction for children at Haven House, a transitional facility for families without homes in Olathe, Colorado. Her book Spiritual Conversations with Children: Listening to God Together was released March 2020. Her children’s book All Will Be Well will be released October of 2022. Lacy lives on the Western Slope of the Rocky Mountains and worships with a local Quaker Meeting.