Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Seeing right through me

Christmas break is so fun. We are truly enjoying it. We've been visiting family and friends the last few days, and are now back home, ready to organize and regroup. But yesterday, we went to the California Science Center in L.A. This place is amazing. (And possibly the most amazing part is that it is totally free.)

One of our favorite stops was the Ecosystems exhibit. The balmy Desert Room housed tortoises and staged flash floods. The chilly Polar Room had a giant polar bear pelt, one wall made of ice, and a snowmobile (a.k.a. "little boy magnet") you could sit on. But my favorite part was the underwater exhibit. Large aquarium tanks held bizarre fish and morey eels and sand sharks. Small tanks held all sorts of other beautiful creatures, some creepy, some breathtaking.

The tank housing these guys stopped me short. I grabbed my son's camera from his neck and snapped these.

They are Aurelia Aurita, or Moon Jellyfish.

What I instantly thought: "What if God made us completely transparent?"

We watched one jellyfish take in particles of food, and then we could see those same particles on its insides.

Total transparency. Think about it. What if everyone else could see what we took in? Not just food...I mean what we took into our minds and our hearts, what was churning around on our insides. What if no one could hide anything?

Then my mom-in-law pointed out something very interesting. It looked as if only a few jellies were in the tank. But no....a closer look revealed that perhaps twenty or more were in there. We could only clearly see the ones that floated up toward the light at the top of the tank. The rest swirled around, waiting their turn to float upward, in the total darkness below. And when they did float up, it seemed as if they were materialising out of nothing. It was quite mesmerizing to watch.

And memorable. Late that night, when the rest of the house was still, my husband, mom-in-law and I, with tea and PJ's, talked about the strange jellies. We talked about transparency. We talked about what happens to a human life when it moves toward the Light, this time meaning the exposing truth of God.

Nothing can be hidden from God. When we finally decide to place our lives into His hands, we must surrender to total transparency with Him. There, our true selves become more clear, though it can be an uncomfortably revealing process. He sees everything churning around inside of us, and it's never all pretty.

For me, there is no alternative to being transparent. With Him, and with you. I try to push up, up toward His light because I don't want to float around in the darkness. That's not life. In the light of the Lord, I can see myself and my purpose the most clearly. He reveals me. He shows me beauty in myself I know I could not otherwise see. Even if everyone else is gawking through the glass at how odd I seem, in His light is where I am me.

This passage from Psalm 139 speaks to our transparency before God so well. Is anyone else a little uncomfortable at this intimate knowing God has of us? Oh, thank goodness He has also made it clear that love is intertwined in every phrase.

O Lord, you have examined my heart
and know everything about me.
You know when I sit down or stand up.
You know my thoughts even when I’m far away.
You see me when I travel
and when I rest at home.
You know everything I do.
You know what I am going to say
even before I say it, Lord.
You go before me and follow me.
You place your hand of blessing on my head.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too great for me to understand!

I can never escape from your Spirit!
I can never get away from your presence!
If I go up to heaven, you are there;
if I go down to the grave, you are there.
If I ride the wings of the morning,
if I dwell by the farthest oceans,
even there your hand will guide me,
and your strength will support me.
I could ask the darkness to hide me
and the light around me to become night—
but even in darkness I cannot hide from you.
To you the night shines as bright as day.
Darkness and light are the same to you.

You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body
and knit me together in my mother’s womb.
Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.
You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,
as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.
You saw me before I was born.
Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out
before a single day had passed.

How precious are your thoughts about me, O God.
They cannot be numbered!
I can’t even count them;
they outnumber the grains of sand!

Psalm 139: 1-18 

{Today I'm linking up with Ann's blog for Walk With Him Wednesdays, a collection of posts on simple ways we can draw closer to Him}


  1. This is such a beautiful post! I love when He shows Himself to us through His Creation. And, yes, may we all understand that it is only in complete and utter transparency that we are free. It is what we were created to be!

  2. wow...this posting is amazing...I will need to think about this today.....I hope you have a great wednesday....<3

  3. your post kicked me in to gear. i text's my sister-in-law at 6am and asked her if i could borrow my niece&nephew today....and we headed to the museums! SO MUCH FUN! we ended up at natural history museum 1st because we got there early...mind you it was pouring rain! we had so much fun. not sure if the puddles or bones were more fun. then headed to science museum and loved it. they slept like logs on the way home. they are only 2&3 years old so this was a big trip for them. thanks SO much for posting about it! drove home with 2 sleeping cuties in the back seat and thinking about the big God is in all of this! good stuff leslie. my mind is thinking and my heart is searching

  4. Thank you so much for sharing your heart. I love this post! Psalm 139 is one of my favorites.

  5. Such a memorable image of moving towards the light of God's truth. Just beautiful.

  6. Hi Leslie,
    Excellent post! What if God made us completely transparent? That is precisely what he's working to accomplish in us. Those photos say it all - wow! Aren't you glad you grabbed that camera? What an inspiration from heaven!
    I find it consoling that God sees right through me and is aware of my every word, thought, and deed. I do now, though I didn't always. The closer I grow to Him, the more welcome is His presence. The path of the righteous is like the light of day, it grows brighter and brighter.