A God Who Sees and Hears

Sarah Dixon Young

A shriveled brown leaf clung to the branch in its last desperate attempt to draw breath.

The struggle has long been over, and a crust of snow covers it. The wind rattles it. The darkness surrounds it. The cold entombs it.

It is dead.

And yet it awaits resurrection.

The very snow shroud it wears will melt and soak the ground. It will nourish the tree, and while the brown leaf will fall, it will be because a new bud is forming. A brand new leaf emerges with the water and warmth inside of it. It is born again.

Its dazzling green drinks the warmth and light. It lives again.

How many pictures of death and resurrection are we blind to? They surround us, and we often miss them.

Because we are deaf and blind, we assume that God must be too. That is why we settle for worthless idols.

“All who fashion idols are nothing, and the things they delight in do not profit. Their witnesses neither see nor know…” Isaiah wrote.

A shriveled brown leaf clung to the branch in its last desperate attempt to draw breath. The struggle has long been over, and a crust of snow covers it. The wind rattles it. The darkness surrounds it. The cold entombs it.

Perhaps we fashion idols not only because we ourselves are blind, but also because the idea of a living God terrifies us. A God who sees and hears brings to mind all of the things we would not want Him to see or hear.

Perhaps, though, for those poor enough, weak enough, or pitiable enough to need a God who can see and hear, their need outweighs their shame. Perhaps their shame even contributes to the knowledge of their need.

In either case, they are the dead, brown leaves rattling in the wind, aching in the cold for the God who can see and hear their plight. What do they care if He knows their sins if He can bring them back to vibrant life?

Hagar was only a mistreated, sinful slave. She shriveled on the branch, but the Lord saw her. He became to her “The One Who Sees.”

The Israelites were downtrodden misfits in a land of princes. Slavery bowed their shoulders and beat them down until they cried to the Lord. To them, He was “The One Who Hears.”

In the New Testament, the One Who Sees dwelt among men and helped them to see. He spoke to them in parables because, “hearing, they do not understand; and seeing, they do not perceive.” However, He opened the eyes of those who were blind and unstopped the ears of those who were deaf. The One Who Sees became the One Who Helps me to See.

After His own resurrection, He stood among those to whom He had given sight, and he told them they must be His witnesses, telling the world what they had seen and heard.

What have you seen? What have you heard?

Are you the dry, dead leaf still rattling on the branch, or have you been made new? This Lenten season, will you testify to the One Who Sees and Hears?

K. William Boyer is the Managing Editor of the Devils Lake News Journal. He can be reached at kboyer@gannett.com, or by phone at (701) 662-2127.  

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