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Signposts: Daily Devotions

Written by Renée Miller

Saturday, September 19

For human ways are under the eyes of the Lord, and he examines all their paths.
—Proverbs 5:21

It feels a bit intrusive to think that anyone, including God, is keeping track of every single thought that we have, every single move that we make. We would prefer a little more privacy. It would feel better if we could "show and tell" only what we want to "show and tell." 

The idea that everything we say and do is under observation does encourage us to behave well, so that we won’t disappoint.  Unfortunately, we don’t hold this thought in our minds consistently. We revert back to our regular patterns and behaviors—sometimes by default, and sometimes because we conclude that staying on our best behavior is a hopeless cause.

We usually assume that the examining eye of heaven is an eye of judgment, an eye ready to make a red check on our grade card every time we make a wrong move. Instead, we might choose to see the eye of heaven as a watchful eye, a protective eye, an eye of guidance, an eye that knows every detail well enough that if our soul is open and receptive, we can avoid a misstep.

When we can step away from our fear of judgment, our heart is unfastened. The doors are unlocked and standing wide open, and we are much more attuned to the subtle shifts and signs that God may send our way.

St. Benedict says that this verse reminds us that God beholds us in every place. What a comfort that can be when times are hard, when decisions are overwhelming, when loneliness bites like a mosquito, when sickness wastes our days away, when we are confused or hurting. The eye of heaven beholding us is not judgment, but gift.

Gracious God, let me trust that your eye of watchfulness guards my path.