Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The “Look”

I look to you, heaven-dwelling God, look up to you for help. Psalm 123:1 MSG
Cousins on the grandparents'
Minnesota farm

© 2004 Christy K Robinson 

 One big sin my mom wrote with her finger in stone, was Thou shalt not embarrass the family. This had lots of fine print, and including breaking the Ten Commandments, raising your voice in public, disobeying anything in public, table manners, pleasing and thanking, and a hundred other regulations. 

 My family always took a summer vacation trip from Arizona to northern Minnesota, where my parents’ families lived. We’d load the avocado-green Rambler station wagon and hit the road. We saw Yosemite, the Snake River, Mt. Rushmore, Yellowstone, the Ozarks, and the Rockies—some of those aren’t even on the way to Minnesota!

Trust me, fleeing was NOT an option.
 Once we arrived, there would be family reunion feasts and picnics, where the grown-ups would sit at the table for hours after the cousins had slithered under the table to play outside with the elderly horse. But not me. Although I tried to dodge her eyes, my mom gave me The Look, that penetrating laser gaze which, because she’d trained me ahead of time, meant to clear the table and wash the dishes. The relatives would say with admiration, “What a nice girl, so courteous, such manners, (etc.).” But I wasn’t gracious on the inside: I was unwillingly scraping dishes and scrubbing the stuck-on pans. Thanks a lot, Mom! (I was such a Cinderella.)

Surely your mother or father gave you The Look, and without words, you knew what was required of you, or you’d face the consequences of disobedience.

This was a whole *different* Look.
But now, as grown-ups ourselves, we think of our heavenly Father, who loves us so much He can’t take His eyes off of us. It's not a severe look--it's a look of love. Those are eyes we don’t mind meeting! With that in mind, we are inspired to look back at God in the way the Psalmist describes:  
I look to you, heaven-dwelling God, look up to you for help. Like servants, alert to their master’s commands, like a maiden attending her lady, we’re watching and waiting, holding our breath, awaiting your word of mercy. Psalm 123:1-2 MSG

We are looking at God with all our attention, ready to leap into action at His command to show mercy, compassion, and justice (Micah 6:8) to the rest of our human family. With only The Look from Heaven, we go to do what he has asked and prepared us to do—with willing obedience in our hearts.

1 comment:

  1. Comments from Facebook:

    Our family used to go from Arizona to Brainerd, Minnesota, where my father had pastored and we had life-long friends. Only we got to do it in the small family plane. Long days spent flying from relative to relative for visits along the way. Memories!

    My dad was from Lake Itasca area (a township called Lake Hattie in the forested part of the state), and that photo is from the farm. My grandfather built that log house. My mom was from International Falls and my parents met when my dad moved up there to work in the paper mill after high school.

    My parents donated a custom-built piano/organ to a Falls church in the late 60s or early 70s, and my mom and I did some piano-organ duets for a vespers or church service when I was age 11 or 12. Oh--you want to talk "looks"? The piano teacher silently coaching the student! That was another look my mom gave that I totally understood.

    In the context of the whole, I loved the last paragraph.

    Moms are the masters of the "LOOK" and I think we all got them, but some got them more. I know my kids know what the LOOK looked like. Ha


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