Bob and Weave

Musings of an impostor. Welcome to the masquerade.

Eyes On Me

Posted by flyingbk on 04/21/2016

It’s something I really need to work on. I was leaving a restaurant in Maywood, and about to get in my friend’s car when it happened yet again.

An older man gingerly walked over. He requested help, and immediately followed his entreaty with “Don’t worry, I’m not asking for much.” He must have noticed.

Fast forward a couple days. I’m at Starbucks in Paramus, and I run into a fellow pastor. We exchange pleasantries, and I head over to the other side and open up my computer. But I’m conscious that his eyes might be on me. So even though there’s a piece of draft-blown garbage that isn’t mine, I take pains to throw it out. I also make certain not to check out any lady that walks by (wait, what?).

edtv

When I was a kid, I was obsessed with the idea of a TV show which focused on my life 24/7. This was pre-EDTV, and would have been the first ever reality show. I was a man ahead of my time. There wouldn’t be people with cameras following me around, but simply strategically placed cameras in the classroom and my bedroom. An enraptured band of viewers would hang on my every word, thought, facial expression. While alone, I used to always ask myself, “Bob, what are you thinking?” and I would imagine what it would be like to share my reply with the audience. I fancied myself to be a precociously deep thinker.

If there was a reality show of my life, then certainly people would know what I do for a living: I’m a pastor. I’ve been unpacking what the word means lately, but certainly there’s a bag full of expectations that go with that word. But this is a good thing. I should want everyone to know that yes, I represent God and I seek to live a life that honors him. This idea is no longer weighty or burdensome for me; it is a privilege that I seek to embrace and I ought to welcome whatever conversations arise from people finding out my vocation.

Perhaps if I was wearing a T-shirt that stated, “I AM A PASTOR,” or if Keeping Up With The Koo was really a thing, I would not have given that older man a dirty look that caused him to qualify his appeal at once. (He just needed assistance in locating his key fob, which I quickly found by one of his rear tires. There was absolutely zero need for my off-kilter facial expression.) I also would be on my best behavior like I was in Paramus. It’s a slam dunk my countenance and demeanor improve.

Alas, there is no reality show. I’ve accepted that it would not garner any ratings; I’m just not sexy enough. But there is one whose eyes are on me. In Psalm 17:8 (ESV), King David prays, “Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings.” It’s a prayer that he’ll know will be answered. And we know today that it’s the truth because Jesus died on the cross and temporarily lost his status as the Father’s apple of his eye. He lost his Father’s gaze so that those of us who believe in him can now and forever be recipients of it. It’s not a burdensome gaze either; sure, God is looking to see that I give the right looks to people, but He is also forever smiling down on me too.

These dirty, skeptical looks I give when asked for help by a stranger need to be a thing of the past. And the way they’ll disappear is when I remember who’s actually looking at me the entire time.

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