Being Seen (Ora Reflection)
This reflection was originally published on June 13th, 2020.
By Lori MacDonald
This reflection is for Matthew 10:26-33.
How do you feel about being seen? Like, really seen? You wouldn’t be alone if you confess that it makes you squirm a little.
Adam covered himself (Genesis 3:7). Peter covered himself (John 21:7). Before I ugly-cry, I cover myself. I heard someone say recently that God put tear ducts in our eyes so that our pain may be seen eye-to-eye. We are meant to see and be seen.
When we are before our Lord, covering up is not simply an act of respect or decency. Withholding our pain from Him, and from others, is not martyrdom. It is an act of hiddenness— perhaps even mistrust,
uncertainty, insecurity. All of creation, with the exception of humanity, glorifies God by its very being. Would the birds of the
air cover themselves before Him? The fish of the sea? Any living thing that breathes? They wouldn’t, because they can’t help but serve their Creator by operating out of their chosen design. They have nothing to hide. We, though, are the fallen.
I have found this season to be a time of uncovering. I love Jesus—there’s no denying that. But over the course of the last few months, I have found myself wrestling with aspects of my faith. On one particular day, I was so dispirited by my circumstances, I threw on my running shoes, and though it was cold and the rain poured down, I hit the road. I ran hard and fast (for an out-of-shape middle-aged woman who has no business running in the first place). I ran until I had
to stop to breathe—and then, I cried. I didn’t simply cry tears, I cried out to God. I shook my fists at Him. I told Him in no uncertain terms that I was feeling so lost, I was on the edge of faithlessness. And then, I listened. And as I listened, I heard... nothing. Furious at His unresponsiveness, I continued running back to my house—sad, soaked, and cynical. I was able to sleep that night, though, and I soon experienced an overwhelming peace— even joy. I had finally uncovered my heart, and Jesus responded through grace upon grace from that day forward.
Could it be purity of soul, then, that He is calling me to, here? He designed my being— mind, body, and soul— to glorify Him. I cannot do this in deceit, under cover. I cannot glorify Him if my relationship with Him is severed through my own inauthenticity.
Pouring out my heart, my honest-to-goodness heart, to God emptied me of more of my hidden layers, my secret self. And as I poured myself out to Him, all that remained was an empty vessel. This vessel of emptiness, of openness, is His intended design for us so that we may be positioned to receive Him. Because it is only in receiving Him that we can be fully integrated into our intended state of purity.
Be seen, my friends. Be pure.
Lori is a contributor to Ora, where you can read reflections for the weekend Mass readings. Go to oraministry.weebly.com to read more.