By Lynell Caudillo
A television commercial featured a young man experiencing an inner struggle. He was from a country where arranged marriages are common, but having lived in the United States, he was uncertain about the merits of this custom. But it was expected.
He’d never met his intended wife. He wondered whether or not to go through with an arranged marriage. Yet, when the day arrived, he found himself waiting with some degree of dread, at the airport with flowers in hand. When she stepped into the terminal, everything changed! She was gorgeous! Suddenly his despair disappeared.
What had transformed his dread to delight? He had seen her!
Some of us yearn to have a loving relationship with God, but we struggle. How do we know God is there and that God cares? Perhaps God is a figment of my imagination, a psychological crutch, a result of wishful thinking. In this technological and scientific age, God seems like an archaic custom from a timeworn past.
But what if I could see God? Would that be enough to tip the scales in God’s favor and mine so I could enter into a loving relationship him?
“No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known” (John 1:18).
So if we want to “see God” all we need to do is look at Jesus.
Well, you might say, good luck with that. Jesus died. Ah, yes. And rose again. Jesus is alive today. There are numerous testimonies of those who saw the risen Christ, with his nail-pierced hands, alive. No doubt about it.
But how do you and I see Jesus?
First, with eyes of faith, as we read the New Testament.
“This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us” (I John 4:10-12).
We “see” and experience God when we love one another. This love originates in the heart of God. It is pure, unconditional and all-embracing. It is for each and every one of us.
While I have been happily married for more than 30 years, it has not been “a marriage made in heaven” nor was it a prearranged marriage. We did not experience “love at first sight,” but a love that grew in depth and maturity over time.
God loves each one of us, whether or not that love is reciprocated. That love is not based on how gorgeous or handsome we are, nor is it based on custom or tradition. That God chooses to love us is simply that – a gracious choice. How shall you respond to that gracious love?
Let’s talk. Visit one of the area’s local churches – and may we “see” God together!
The Rev. Lynell M. Caudillo is head of staff at Calvary Presbyterian Church in Enumclaw.