Recently I was reading in Genesis and was moved by the account of Creator God walking in the Garden of Eden in Chapter 3. The Almighty and Glorious One was taking a routine casual stroll in the Garden with his creation, only Man and Woman were not there to commune with Him.
“Where are you”? He asks a question that He already knows the answer to, for their sake, not His. Under the loving care of Father God, the truth was coaxed out of Man: “I was afraid... I was naked... I hid”.
Steffany Gretzinger sings a beautiful song that I have listened to a few times after reading this passage, and in it the Father sings to us
Come out of hiding
You're safe here with Me
There's no need to cover
What I already see
Being the father of 3 beautiful children, one of the things I am intentional about is eye contact with my kids when correction is needed. If they have done something wrong, they don’t like to look up into my face when I’m talking to them about it. Sometimes I will gently lift their chin with my finger and smile as I try to draw the truth out of them and restore the situation.
The words of an old hymn that is a favourite of mine comes to mind as I contemplate this
Turn your eyes upon Jesus
Look full in His wonderful face
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace
Sometimes I think we are so confronted by our humanity in the light of his glory that we retreat into hiding in shame. Praise God that through the cross the things that would easily disqualify us have been dealt with as we surrender them in repentance. His grace invites us, though we are so unworthy, to look full into His loving gaze and commune with the Father again. Gretzinger continues her song by singing
Now rid of the shackles,
My victory's yours
I tore the veil for you to come close
There's no reason to stand at a distance anymore
Oh and by the way I don’t think it’s just sin or shame that causes us to miss the walk with God in the Garden or look full into His face. Sometimes it is busy-ness. It is rush. It is noise. Our heads and hearts are so often downturned and preoccupied. I am challenged to respond to the Father’s call: “Where are you, Nick?” And as He gently draws me to Himself and lifts my chin, I pray that you join me in the simplest of responses: “Here I am, Father... as I am... Here I am”.