To See or Be Seen?

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Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
Matthew 5:8

Normally when I travel for ministry, I bring a young lady with me who I love very much. She is a beautiful, Dominican, New Yorker named Orlenis, who says things to me like “Girl, you don’t need an iron, just lay that shirt between the mattresses tonight”. Really, there’s nothing more I need on the road than that.

There are two things Orlenis will never, ever fail to do: 1-Make sure there’s at least a case of water for me to drink. 2- Make sure that I use the bathroom at least twice before stepping on stage. You can see the correlation. Well, earlier this year I was on the road alone and the system fell apart. There was no Orlenis to drag me to a toilet, so of course, right before taking the stage to speak, I realized that I needed to make a quick run for the back.

Something happened that night in a Connecticut church bathroom, that I’ve not been able to recover from. You see, I was facing a lot in my own life at that time and wasn’t even sure I had it in me to speak life into anyone, because honestly, I could barely speak life into myself. So, there I was, counting down the minutes till this evening was over, when suddenly a sound from the next stall shattered me. I would end up running out of the restroom and weeping through my entire time of ministry and all night at the hotel.

In the quietness of that bathroom, I suddenly heard a sound. (Not the kind of sound you’re thinking. It’s not that kind of story) It was the squeaky, soft voice of a little girl singing one simple line “Jesus, we just love you…we just love you”. Over and over again, she sang that one line. At first, I just smiled and thought “how cute”. But, as she continued, the most unexpected thing happened to me on that toilet. I began to have what I can only explain as a vision.

Suddenly, I saw a picture of what looked like a synagogue from the Bible days. Right outside was chaos and a mass of people whose voices all seemed to blend together into one loud noise. Then, I saw Jesus–Eyebrows furled, hands behind his back. Walking, watching, weaving his way in and out of the crowd. But, even as he brushed up against them, nobody seemed to notice his presence. At that moment, the sound of the little girls song coming from the other stall began to bleed into this vision and I saw the countenance of Jesus change as he swung his head around looking for the source of this song. Aggressively, Jesus began to move people out of his way and search the crowd. Finally, when he couldn’t find the little girl, I saw the most powerful thing…I saw him run. As I watched Jesus run to find her, I heard one verse echo in my heart. “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God”. Then I heard The Lord saying, “I would leave a mass of religious people who don’t even notice my presence any day to find just one pure heart. One heart that still just loves me. That’s who I want to see. The pure in heart will see me because I’ll go anywhere to find them”.

In that vision, only one person really saw God. It was a little girl who most would think had nothing great to offer him. She saw Jesus! He was around an entire crowd of religious people, but they were somehow blind to him. They were so busy trying to be seen that they couldn’t see. You learn a lot about the purity of your heart in a crowd. I always thought my heart and motives were pure, till several years ago when I found myself standing before crowds of 15,000 people and tragically, I found a piece of myself that loved it. I may have left the screaming crowd on their feet, but when I went home I knew I had utterly failed, for a heart cannot long to see God and long to be seen at the same time. Years later, I often remember what that felt like and plead with God to never let me see that in myself again.

The real reason that I want Orlenis to travel with me when I minister instead of anyone else (besides my husband) isn’t to remind me to use the bathroom. The reason is simple. She’s not there because she sees me as some kind of Christian celebrity. She doesn’t care who she meets in the green room and has no desire to network or make “connections”. She doesn’t have any ulterior motives to take her vacation days to travel with me. If I finish preaching and I need to find Orlenis, I don’t have to wonder if she’s back stage, I know exactly where to look. The altar. Whether she’s on her face or got her arms wrapped around a stranger, I just look for the tears. She is with me not because she loves the hype of public ministry, but because she just loves Jesus and the opportunity to be in his presence with his people all over this nation has not grown old to her. If I want God’s blessing, if I want to see the manifest presence of God in my ministry, that’s who I need by my side. Someone who longs to see God. Someone who is pure in heart. By the way, the same applies to you. If you want God’s blessing, if you want to see God in your life, motives matter. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

I wonder today, does your heart burn to see him? Or instead, does your heart burn to be seen? Can I lovingly challenge you? If you searched beneath the surface of your heart and placed your every motive on the lap of God, what would he see? All the things you’re doing for The Lord or the things you dream of doing…whether it’s attending church, doing devotionals, writing blogs, being generous or pursuing full time ministry, would you pause to search your heart and ask yourself a one word question: Why? Maybe make a list and beside everything, try to articulate the “why?”. Be honest with yourself.

Are you having a hard time seeing God lately? Have you found yourself wanting to be seen? A heart cannot long to see God and long to be seen at the same time. There is tremendous blessing that comes to a heart that is pure of mixed motives and selfish ambition. That blessing is seeing God. In your marriage, in your prayer life, in your family, in ministry. If seeing God is not enough, then this would be the best time ever to begin the process of surrendering that part of you to The Lord until it is. If you feel the love of God convicting your heart, then don’t run, lean into it. In his kindness, he is drawing you back to him. Back to a place where you just want to see him again. The beauty is that when you get there, that’s when you see God run.

“BLESSED are the pure in heart, for they WILL see God” -Jesus

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~ by oraia on February 18, 2014.

9 Responses to “To See or Be Seen?”

  1. Katy, do you have a church or other address that I can send a handwritten letter to?
    I would love to share with you how the Lord is using the way that you allow Him to live and reign in you to speak into my life and impact the way that I die & let Him reign in me.
    My email address is: skylarclark9@gmail.com

    God Bless sweet sister, Thank you for all that you do.
    Sky

  2. I just want you to know that you have blessed me and I actually feel like you’re a spiritual mother to me. I know we’ve never met but every poem, every blog, has made my heart burn to know Him more. Thank you for that.

    • Colton, I’m very moved by your comments…I’m humbled to know that you’ve been impacted this way. I thank your for sharing your heart

  3. I just want to let you know that you’re ministry has blessed me so much. Every blog and every poem has made my heart burn to know Him more. Thank you for that. The things you’re doing are not in vain. Although life seems mundane sometimes, Just know that all of the things you do matter.

  4. Wow, thank you so much for sharing this! Every time I hear or read your ministry, it draws my heart closer to God. God bless.

  5. I look forward to your devotions, I’m blessed each time I come across it. Thank you for sharing your gift and allowing God to use you.

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