Friday, January 24, 2014

Focus Friday: Sometimes We Don't Like Focus

I vividly remember the first real date I went on with the man who would become my husband. It was a double date with my best friend and her boyfriend. Gary had come to my college with them and they had watched our Christmas concert. I played the French horn in the concert band and I had probably played a little better that night, knowing that someone who was interested in me was watching in the audience. After the concert, I ran back to the dorm to change clothes and join Gary and my friends for supper at Taco John's. I don't remember eating together at all, but at some point in the evening we stopped by the student center to get our mail and then Gary and I sat and talked.

We made small talk for quite a while as we got to know each other. We talked about our parents, how many siblings we had, and what we liked to do in our spare time. Suddenly the conversation took an unexpected turn.

"What happened to your hand?" he asked curiously as he pointed at my right hand. I felt a shiver go up my spine as I lifted my hand and looked at the knuckles nearest my fingertips. I felt a mixture of pleasure, embarrassment, and fear. As far as I could remember, no one had ever asked me about my scars before. I explained that when I was little I had put my hand up near the burner of our gas stove and had burned my hand. The skin was slightly scarred on the knuckles of my middle three fingers. After stammering out my little story, I put my hand back down by my side and changed the subject. Part of me was impressed that Gary had noticed my fingers and another part of me was terrified. No one had ever looked at me that closely before and I didn't know if I could withstand such detailed scrutiny.

Have you ever felt that way? It seems like most people cover their faces or turn the other way when they see a camera aimed at them. They don't want to have their likeness captured for others to criticize or laugh at. Some people love to be the center of attention, but it seems like many others would do just about anything to make sure attention is not focused on them.

We don't want people to look at us so closely  that they see our flaws and imperfections. I'm not just talking physically here. Sometimes we're afraid to let people know us too well because we don't want them to see our character flaws. We don't want them to find out that we procrastinate, that we're lazy, that we are proud, or that we don't like ourselves very much. We miss out when we let our "focus fears" keep us from being known by others.

We may not even want to think about how much God focuses on us. He can see our every flaw, inside and out. And if we're honest, that terrifies us. We don't really want to be that well known. As we keep exploring the idea of "Focus" we need to get comfortable with the focus that God puts on us. He loves us unconditionally and His love won't change no matter what He sees in us. He sees where we've been, where we are, and where we will be in the future. We need to get comfortable with His focus on us so that we can have the right mindset as we work on our outward focus.

Have you ever had someone focus intently on you? How did it make you feel? Does God's focus on you make you feel uncomfortable?

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