“J, stop putting your hand in your mouth!”
“No, that’s not the bin for paper. You have to use the one above. Yes that one.”
“Do you have an eye in the back of your head, Mama? How come you can see what we’re doing when you’re not looking at us? You’re there busy cooking and yet you know what’s happening here.”
“Oh, do you really not know? I do have an eye in the back of my head. You can’t see it, but I actually can see what you’re doing even if I close my eyes.” 😀 😀
After that I went to explain to my children that I didn’t have an extra set of eyes, anywhere in my body. But because I love them and I know them so well, in a way I can know what they are doing even when I’m not directly looking at them.
Later I explained that even if I wasn’t around and really can’t see them, God can see them. Because it’s the truth. God has an eye in the back of His head. Oh no, He doesn’t even need an extra eye. He’s the omnipresent God – He is everywhere, we can’t hide from Him. And He’s also an omniscient God, He knows every single thing about us, from our past, present and future. We have no hope of hiding things from Him.
A CCTV, for our safety or to reveal our faults?
Table of Contents
When my kids were younger they often asked, “Mama, what’s that?” pointing out to a CCTV camera installed on one corner of the road we were passing. I explained that that’s a camera which a policeman can see from the other side of what’s going on on this street. If there’s robbery, or accident, they can see and they have a recording of the accident.
Whenever I’m at a place with a full set of CCTV cameras monitoring the area, I have this double feeling: it’s either I feel safe because I know the security is monitoring me, or I feel not comfortable because the security IS monitoring me. These contradictory feelings come up from two different intentions of our hearts. If we’re normal citizens and we don’t do anything strange and we’re not planning to do anything harmful, we don’t see CCTV as a nuisance. We rather feel safe, because we know, if something happens, it’s recorded, or help would be right on the way because someone responsible knows what’s going on with us.
But if we’re having other intentions, like we want to do something unlawful, we would hate the being of these CCTV cameras. We don’t want to be exposed nor recorded while doing something that we know can cause others and ourselves troubles.
God is a nonstop CCTV system
I try to teach and remind the children that God sees everything and knows everything. When they giggle and secretly walk while hiding something in their hands (mostly cookies or chips), they might think Mama doesn’t see that, but God does. Nothing is hidden from Him!
The fact that God watches over us works almost in the same way like the surveillance camera. It gives us either the assurance that He knows our struggles and He is never too far to help us, but it gives us also a chill because our sins are not hidden from Him.
Unfortunately (or fortunately?) God’s sight can’t not be physically seen from our part. His presence is real, but yet so easily forgotten. Those times we feel lonely and overwhelmed with our situations, we can’t remember that God is there, right beside us, embracing us, never leaves alone and he’s actually walking together with us through every struggle we have to endure. But we can’t see that. We can’t see His presence. Even when we have cried and prayed, sometimes we just can’t feel Him.
And that’s the moment we often question, where is God? Where is God when I’m suffering? Where is God when I’m alone? But actually He never leaves us. He’s always there for us, even when we can’t see His presence.
At the same time, God’s presence is also easily overlooked when we’re doing our daily lives. Our sins, our hidden thoughts, our not-yet-best works. We think that no one sees us, no one sees through the thick wall of the room where we are sitting alone. We think we don’t have any witness of this secret jealousy or concealed hatred. We think no one would mind when we do our responsibilities carelessly. But God sees that. God watches us. We don’t see His physical surveillance cameras, but He is there.
Our surroundings are watching us
I once wrote about the lives behind the thin wall between us and our neighbours. These days we tend to know very less about the lives of people that are physically living beside us. Behind the closed doors, we know nothing. But actually our lives are not that much hidden from people around us. The Bible says that we are just like a letter, that is open and can be seen and read by everyone.
People see our hearts from our outward behaviour. I know that there’s another saying that says don’t judge a book from its cover. But for me personally, it’s true that our words, our thoughts, our facial expression, our outer appearance are somehow representing our hearts.
Many people forget that social media serves like an open book for their lives. We post things impulsively without realizing that the internet never forgets, and people watch us! We post some stupid and embarassing jokes, sexy dances, rude comments, and we think no one sees us. But no, people are watching! And they judge using our Facebook content. We might want to defend ourselves saying that’s just not right, that’s not fair – to be judged because of one bad post. It’s true, but we can’t stop people. We can tell ourselves not to be by their comments, but still, we can’t avoid the consequences of our actions in the internet world.
Our children also watch us. Those eyes might not be watching us all the time, but their ears are open for all sounds. I’m often surprised to see some particular attitudes from my children only to realize that they have copied mine. Our behaviours and principles can be passed on to them through our daily contact. We don’t realize it, but children imitate us fast and accurately.
We leave imprint on others
This is not an easy subject to write. The fact that we’re constantly ‘being watched’ might stir up mixed emotions in us. Some people live to impress others, some people don’t bother about what people say about them. For me personally, I learn that nothing is hidden from God, and one day I will be held accountable for all my deeds in front of Him. I also learn that my children are watching me and imitate me. What I’m doing today might define their attitudes and character for a long run in their lives.
I’m all against faking up our lives just to impress people. I wish and I want to stay honest to what I am. But I learn that I do leave an imprint on people around me – whether I want it or not. My smiles, my words can either encourage them or dishearten them. Like it or not, people have eyes in the back of their heads – let’s leave a good imprint on others!