Magazines always call out to me in the checkout line. The latest celebrity drama is blown out of proportion and photographs are tailored and taken out of context to add more intrigue. I look at the new headlines and snapshots of people I've never met. Then I look around at the store, full of sweaty summer people buying things for the Fourth of July weekend. You would never see us on those magazine covers. But our lives are just as interesting to the unseen realm. Forces of darkness even take an interest in us. But I've noticed lately that those who are invisible to the world's eyes can show up brightly on Heaven's radar.
Faith is the name of Heaven's magazine and there are images of people who are sold out and surrendered to Jesus. The faithful humans' reckless abandon to a God they can't see must cause a great commotion in a place where they have the answers to our existential questions. Like a kid holding the answer card while another kid tries so hard to win a point for the team. The heavenly host must be on the edge of their seats as we discover the mysterious truths of eternity that are so obvious to them. What will this simple creation do next?
What's making headlines in God's checkout line? Maybe we'd read stuff like this: "Little girl believes in Christ even after enduring years of abuse by the enemy" or "After eighty years of walking in Christ, man finally receives his miracle" or perhaps, "College kid resists temptation and seeks Jesus against crippling opposition"...
But we are tempted to buy the illusion that we are "nobodies". [Insert name of any famous guy], now he's the one people want to see, not me! If we aren't on a magazine cover or recognized by media in some way then we are nobodies. That is a huge lie. We are so deeply known. There is nothing hidden and nothing is private. From the atoms of our organs to the thoughts we entertain, we are known through and through. That's how God knows us. Also, we can hide very little from our unseen enemy.
We think behind our screens that we are in a place where no one is watching. Our curtains are shut and our lights are off. The night has shrouded the world in darkness. We are protected by our freedoms in this great country. No one can touch us without our permission. Monitoring technology and a tax-paid police force watch over us as we sleep. Somehow we think we are alone then. Alone with our thoughts, they say.
Celebrities know what it's like to be flashed in the pupils with a paparazzi invasion. They may know better than us that we are never alone. Somebody always has a camera, ready to capture a moment of their valuable face. Surely if they step out of line even a little their career could be muddied and their PR may be put to the test. So much at stake for those celebrities.
But what about for us? Heaven watches. Does that make you uncomfortable? In the shower, Heaven watches. Don't forget that we were naked in the Garden once and unashamed. Just because we wear clothes now doesn't mean our souls aren't laid bare before our Creator.
What headlines do we read in the bible? People whose lives were a picture of Christ and whose faith was a gift that echoes through eternity. Why do we mess around with this fascination that celebrities are the lucky ones? They get all the money and fame and recognition of this world. Shouldn't we be afraid for them? How devastating to think that they, themselves, believe this lie that they are more significant. My prayer is that they will feel the emptiness of riches and not let it destroy them, and that they will question themselves. I hope I never find myself jealous of people who are widely adored by this world, but that I'll always long to be someone who makes God smile. Nothing could be more famous than being seen by God.