Thursday, September 4, 2014

Growing into the Gaze

Though I've been in my new job for over a month now, I still sort of feel like I'm playing dress-up; like I've put on Mommy's clothes and am now attempting to walk around in them without falling. In some ways, I feel like I'm pretending. But then I remember, I didn't lie to get here. The people who hired me saw the same resume that I made; they spoke to the same 5'3 pony-tailed person I was six months ago. They saw something in me that they believe in, and I am beginning to believe it too. I am growing into their gaze. 

Realizing this has caused me to reflect on all the people whose gaze made me believe I could go into this line of work in the first place: teachers, counselors, classmates and friends who saw something in me that was maybe a little bit more than I could see in myself-- people whose voices gave me the audacity to dream. Thinking of them, I am filled with gratitude. They've helped me become who I am by calling it into existence. 

And reflecting on this has brought me back to the very beginning and given me a new way to understand and appreciate what it means to have met Jesus Christ in the first place. It has reminded me that to belong to Him is to grow into His gaze of love. See, when my father passed away from cancer I named myself, "orphan." But the God who created me looked upon me and said, "you're my child." And when the sin of others stole my innocence and my own sinful response only deepened the scars, I named myself "whore." But Jesus looked on me in love and said, "you're my bride." 

It was in His noticing regard-- His love-- that I have been found and re-made. And it is His declaration of my identity that I am beginning to believe more than any other. Now, for the rest of my life, I'm growing into what He has named me. I'm growing into His gaze. 

How has 'the gaze of others' influenced you, positively or negatively? How does that impact the way you live in the world? How do you think God sees you?


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