I have my father's eyes -- dark, snapping brown that seem to
seek out everything at once. When people remark on the resemblance,
I'm flattered. Yet I wonder...how much do I really see?
On takeoff during a recent early-morning flight, I was amazed at
the details that came into view as I gazed out my tiny airplane
window. I saw yards with bright blue dots of swimming pools, swing
sets with climbing ropes, and Big Wheels toppled onto blacktop.
Minivans and station wagons backed out of garages while school
buses crawled along like a trail of yellow jelly beans. I was
seeing a neighborhood beginning its day.
As the plane climbed, my view broadened and one neighborhood
multiplied into dozens. There were hundreds of homes, yards, and
driveways crowded together, intersected by patches of trees and
snaking roadways. It was overwhelming to imagine how many families
those homes represented. And I was struck by the enormity of what
God sees and acts upon.
I pictured God seeing a toddler crawling toward a swimming pool --
nudging a mother to look up in time. I imagined God urging a father
to call to his son to change his footing before he slips and falls.
Imagining the world through God's eyes, I saw God moving speeding
cars out of crosswalks and slowing trains as school buses crossed
As my plane reached its cruising altitude, my view was obscured by
a thick layer of clouds. From my window seat, I could only see from
one perspective -- that from above. Details faded at my rapid pace,
far above any actual involvement in the people's lives I'd
Thankfully, God doesn't stand far away; God gets involved. He
directs our lives, up close and personal. Using sight that
encompasses all of humanity, God still reaches out and touches us
individually. God sees fear on the face of a child about to fall.
God knows the bus driver's name and reaction time. God knows the
route a parent takes when delivering kids to school. God cares for
That morning I was challenged to do the same in my ministry. My
vision -- my perspective -- needs to change. I need to see people
through God's eyes. I don't know whether a parent has had a
sleepless night or what kind of day a child is facing or where
someone will be in a year. I can't see into their hearts -- or even
their back yards -- from where I stand, but I can ask God for a
glimpse into their lives.
God doesn't promise to give me crystal-clear hindsight or
knowledge of the future, but he does desire for me to use his eyes
in my ministry. Eyes that see a child who needs a Savior. Eyes for
a parent who needs a comforting word or a family desperate for a
gentle touch. With God's eyes, my view widens to see individuals
facing struggles, fears, triumphs, and sorrows.
After that flight, I took a good, hard look at my ministry. I
asked to see each person as God does. I asked to understand God's
love and care for each of us, and to share his burden in meeting
people's needs. Oh, I can look down from a distance. Or I can have
my Father's eyes that seek to meet people where they are.
Do I have my Father's eyes? I pray so.
Kandi Elliott is a director of children's ministries in