28 Mar Weary Christian, You Serve a God Who Sees
By Cayce Finley ·
My 15-year old daughter wrote a paper for her English class last week. It was an essay answering, “What is your definition of a hero?” I sat beside her as she talked through her thoughts, jotted notes down on paper, and built the framework for her essay.
She knew from the beginning she wanted to write about Senator John McCain. Having served as an intern in the late nineties in Washington, D.C., she knew my admiration for him. Although not a perfect man, he was a patriot (and kind to low-level interns like myself).
When he passed away in August, we watched his funeral on television as a family. I am thankful for the anecdotes shared recounting Senator McCain’s courage and tenacity throughout his tenure in public service. Sadly, examples like his are harder to find in today’s political climate.
She also wanted to include in her paper the example of her grandmother—my mother-in-law, Mrs. Linda Finley.
From her paper:
In 2012, Auby Edward Perry, a father, husband, grandfather, and great-grandfather to many moved to the Richard M. Campbell Veterans Nursing Home in Belton, South Carolina. Mr. Perry had Alzheimer’s disease. Linda Finley, one of Mr. Perry’s daughters sacrificially cared for him for three years before his passing in 2015. Although she did not get worldly praise or recognition, Mrs. Finley honored and loved her father even when no one was watching. She cut his fingernails, wiped his nose, and drove his wife and Mrs. Finley’s mother, Juanita Perry, to the nursing home two or three times a week so they could visit. Heroes sacrifice in significant ways but more often than not, in small anonymous ways.
While Senator McCain’s sacrifices are well-known and documented, most of life resembles Mrs. Finley’s—day after day of seemingly small and anonymous acts of service.
As Mrs. Finley carefully trimmed Papaw’s fingernails and tenderly wiped his nose, I hope she knows those deeds weren’t small or anonymous. She had the full attention of her heavenly Father looking down from heaven—seeing every tender touch and recording every tender word.
And you, weary Christian, have His same attention.
In Matthew 6, Jesus warns his followers about the short-sightedness of practicing their righteousness to receive the praise of man in giving (v.1-4), praying (v.5-15), and fasting (v.16-18).
And while this chapter is about those spiritual disciplines, a broader theme pulses through theses verses presenting a truth that fortifies our souls and strengthens our weary bodies.
We serve a God who sees
Jesus says “Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father in heaven” (Matthew 6:1).
We want the praise of others. It’s so tangible. So immediate. We see the looks of respect, hear the words of approval, and feel the rush of pride. Man’s praise feels good right now. Desperate for affirmation and for someone — anyone, to see our good works, man’s praise feels like a worthy reward.
But just three verses later, Jesus lifts our eyes to a far-better audience. “And your Father who sees in secret will reward you” (v.2). He repeats it about prayer and fasting, ”And your Father who sees in secret will reward you” (v.6,18).
We read of His attentive gaze in other verses, too:
The Lord looks down from heaven; he sees all the children of man (Psalm 33:13).
The eyes of the Lord are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good (Proverbs 15:3).
O, friend! How comforting is His all-seeing eye! What balm for our parched souls that He tends to our every act!
Even the smallest deeds swell with eternal meaning as we live under this truth:
He sees you clip fingernails and wipe noses in the nursing home.
He sees you wash your child’s soiled sheets every morning.
He sees you welcome an elderly parent into your home who needs around-the-clock care.
He sees you forego sleep to comfort your restless newborn in the quiet of the night.
He sees you rise early day after day to read His Word before work.
He sees you give quietly to a small group member in financial need.
He sees you drive your husband’s grandmother to town every month to pay her bills and run errands.
He sees you listen to your co-worker with compassion and love.
He sees you comb through the lice-infested hair of your new foster child.
He sees you scrub the toilet making your apartment hospitable for your international student friends.
He sees you praying and fasting for the souls of those who have yet to hear of His name.
Today, Christian, remember you serve a God who sees. A God whose eye is far keener than any man’s and whose reward is far better than the fleeting trinket of earthly praise.
You have His attention and He has your reward (Matthew 25:23). May such knowledge fuel a life that gives, prays, fasts—and clips fingernails, for Him alone.