Among the names for God, there is one called "the God who sees me." If you believe in God, then you would probably believe that God sees you. But what the name implies is that God lets you know that he sees you and when God lets you know he sees you, he reveals to you how he sees you and you see yourself and God differently after the encounter.

The person who had such an encounter and named God "the God who sees me" is Hagar, and the story is found in Genesis 16: "The angel of the LORD found her by a spring of water in the wilderness, the spring on the way to Shur." The Hebrew word for "spring" also means "eye." This is the first time that the angel of the Lord visits anyone in scripture. Hagar's vision of Sarai has just changed and she's about to receive new vision from God. This is also the first time in the story of Hagar that anyone has spoken to her: "And he said, "Hagar, servant of Sarai, where have you come from and where are you going?" She said, "I am fleeing from my mistress Sarai.""

The theophony speaks to her, gets onto the subject of her origin and her destiny. She answers, telling of her distressed flight. The messenger's answer is bad news and good news: The angel of the LORD said to her, "Return to your mistress and submit to her." The angel of the LORD also said to her, "I will surely multiply your offspring so that they cannot be numbered for multitude." And the angel of the LORD said to her, "Behold, you are pregnant and shall bear a son. You shall call his name Ishmael, because the LORD has listened to your affliction. He shall be a wild donkey of a man, his hand against everyone and everyone’s hand against him, and he shall dwell over against all his kinsmen."

Phyllis Trible's comment on the text is, "Hagar's unbearable past becomes her future; her origin in suffering becomes her destiny in suffering. Second, the messenger promises Hagar innumerable descendants, thereby according her the special status of being the only woman in the Bible that has received such a promise. Beyond her destiny of suffering, then, lies a future of progeny. Third, the messenger confirms Hagar's conceiving."

The messenger specifies the name of the child and its meaning that God has listened to your affliction, but at the same time, sends her back into it and predicts a future of affliction for the boy, with the consolation stamped to his life that God will be listening. Hagar and Ishmael's difficult life is decreed by God with blessing.

Hagar's response is to do something no one else has done, to name God. She says that God has seen her and this is God's name that she gives God. She also remarks that she herself has seen God and lived: "So she called the name of the LORD who spoke to her, "You are a God of seeing," for she said, "Truly here I have seen him who looks after me." Therefore the well was called Beer-lahai-roi; it lies between Kadesh and Bered."

Hagar has become the first theologian. She has had an experience and been given a word and she gains an insight. Her life now becomes her life after theophany, forever changed.
Phillis Trible, "Hagar, Sarah, and their children: Jewish, Christian, and Muslim perspectives"; Westminster John Knox Press, 2006; pp. 40-41

Christian environmentalism? Yes!

All creatures of our God and King,
lift up your voices, let us sing:
Alleluia, alleluia!
Thou burning sun with golden beams,
thou silver moon that gently gleams,
O praise him, O praise him,
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

The literal English translation of the original verse by Saint Francis:

Most high, all powerful, all good Lord!
All praise is yours, all glory, all honor, and all blessing.

To you, alone, Most High, do they belong.
No mortal lips are worthy to pronounce your name.

Be praised, my Lord, through all your creatures,
especially through my lord Brother Sun,
who brings the day; and you give light through him.
And he is beautiful and radiant in all his splendor!
Of you, Most High, he bears the likeness.
The heavens declare the glory of God,
and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.
Day to day pours out speech,
and night to night reveals knowledge.
There is no speech, nor are there words,
whose voice is not heard.
Their voice goes out through all the earth,
and their words to the end of the world.
In them he has set a tent for the sun,
which comes out like a bridegroom leaving his chamber,
and, like a strong man, runs its course with joy.
Psalm 19

Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.
James 1:17

in excelsis Deo

In the highest, God.

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”

Luke 2:13-14

There is no one and no thing higher than God. This is something to keep in mind when we pray to God or worship God or consider God's ways. God is highest. This fact was not discovered by man, but revealed by heavenly beings for whom this was settled truth.
Update: 11-2-09
I found this from Mary Clark in Marriana Florida today, and I thought it was good.


November 2, 2009

excelsior – higher, always upward

I want you to come up higher, beloved. I want you to see things from My perspective. Do not look at the world through the eyes of the world. Look at things through My eyes; get My perspective, the proper perspective.

I am eager for My beloved to come up higher. I am eager for you to see the things of the world the way that I see them. Do not be duped, beloved. Do not let the enemy dupe you into thinking the way the world thinks. Think as I think. See things clearly, the way I see things, and know true harmony in your heart when you are in sync with the One Who is holy, the One Who is high and lifted up, your eternal Father.

Sky Links, 9-27-17