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Tuesday, May 30, 2006

The Dual Exposure of seeing God

We often sing…
Open the eyes of my heart, Lord
Open the eyes of my heart
I want to see you

In Isaiah chapter 6 Isaiah encountered God and “saw” Him.  The seraphs were singing and God was “high and lifted up.”  And yet what is so interesting about this event is the double nature of the “seeing.”  On the one hand Isaiah saw the LORD.  And yet, on the other hand, Isaiah himself was the one who was more exposed.
Consider the response of Isaiah:”I am a man of unclean lips and I live in the midst of people with unclean lips.”

The double nature of the seeing is that God exposed His Holiness to Isaiah and yet it was Isaiah that became so incredibly undone.  He was petrified.  He was afraid.  He was naked and exposed before God.  How was Isaiah so exposed?  Was it the power of seeing the LORD Almighty?  Or was God up to something?  Was God the one doing the exposing?

The amazing thing about this story is that God was actually the one doing the seeing.  Isaiah said that he saw God.  But maybe we would be more accurate in saying that it was God who saw Isaiah.  God was the one who was doing the exposing.  

To encounter God in a religious experience seems rather easy enough, and especially these days when our church worship experience is conducive to sensing the presence of God.  The presence of God Almighty is everywhere:  in the order of nature, in the moral order of the universe, and even within the heart of humankind.  But that we see God is only half of the equation.  What the story of Isaiah tells us and what resonates from Isaiah’s response is not that we must expose God, but that God must expose us.