We took off at twilight, after the sunset had skipped ahead to the edge of the sky. I don’t know if this is the normal course for a MIA to DFW flight, but we ascended through clouds and flew to the edge of the city. How do I know? Because we were still low enough to watch the waves curl and crash onto the beach. I could see the pink and orange of the sunset at the other end of the sky and as we crossed over the city, it glowed with the light of evening life — office buildings, parking lots, cars headed home for the night. It was an absolutely incredible display, one that felt so very special, one I would have completely missed if I wasn’t watching.
Then, later on in the flight, I caught a flash of light from the corner of my eye — lighting in the distance. Have you ever seen lightning from a plane? It’s a powerful, incredible sight. And again, I would have absolutely missed it if I wasn’t paying attention. It all felt like a gift from Jesus — an exquisite display of His creation, His might and His love for me — and for the rest of the week, I couldn’t stop thinking about the experience and how I could have easily missed it if I hadn’t been watching. That brings me to one of my favorite things about Jesus: in the gospels, He always seems to be paying attention.
Think about it — there’s the widow who drops two small coins giving two small copper coins in the offering box. The story is recorded in the gospels because Jesus sat there watching. In Mark 12 it says, “And he sat down opposite the treasury and watched the people putting money into the offering box. Many rich people put in large sums. And a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which make a penny.”
The gospels mention several times, like in Matthew 9, where Jesus saw a crowd and had compassion on them. He saw them, observed them, watched how they were carrying the burdens of life.
When Jesus clears out the temple courts, Mark 11 tell us He had gone in the day before, “looked around at everything” but because it was late in the day, went out to Bethany and returned the next day.
He used examples in His teachings of seemingly small, everyday things like flowers and birds. “Consider the raves,” He said. “Consider the lilies, how they grow.” He was an observer of creation, which is pretty amazing since He created it all.
It feels like such a small detail — He was always paying attention — but it speaks to me about His love for each of us. The fact that Jesus was always observing means there isn’t a single detail of our lives that is lost on Him. There isn’t a thing that happens to us that He is unaware of.
In the midst of a trial, that can feel frustrating (to say the least) — if He knows it’s happening, why won’t He step in and fix it? That is a mystery beyond us, an answer that may not belong to us. “Be still, and know that I am God,” Psalm 46:10 says. “I am with you always, to the end of the age,” Jesus says in Matthew 28:20.
The way Jesus watched the world around Him makes me want to follow in His footsteps. What can I learn about Him and others by slowing down enough to watch? Give us eyes to see, Jesus. Help us watch and catch the details of life like You do.