When I read some of the things King David wrote in the Psalms, I mentally cringe a little. When he says that God can see into our hearts, I get a mental picture of me trying to open up my heart like doors on a cabinet, but turning my head away with my eyes squeezed shut. I'm not sure I want to see what He sees.
Lately, my thoughts start with that picture but jump to a new one. Last week, my friend Lauraine walked me through her garden pointing out all the different kinds of flowers, telling me where she got them, what they were called, how much water and light they need, which ones smell beautiful and which ones are only beautiful to look at.
She also pointed out the gopher holes and told me about the rose bushes the gophers had destroyed. She didn't focus on the gophers or mention them first when she described her garden, but she was clearly frustrated with the damage and wished the gophers would go away.
I've always liked Lauraine's garden, but I appreciated it even more after she gave me the walking tour. It occurred to me while reading the Psalms that God would probably give us a similar tour of our hearts if we weren't so afraid to hear what He has to say. I suspect God would also start with the good parts, pointing out some of His favorite flowers in our heart gardens first. Like Lauraine, His face would probably show His pleasure with how things are growing, pointing out plants that looked like they would die last year that have come back this year.
He'd certainly point out the gopher sins that are destroying parts of the garden, and His face would show frustration or even anger depending on how much damage had been done and how out of control the gopher sins were.
But also like Lauraine, God doesn't abandon the gardens of our hearts because of gopher sins. He works with us to get rid of the gophers and replant. If and when the gophers return, He helps us again go on a gopher hunt and again replant. Maybe He'll even plant something new. Lauraine is thinking about planting something different where a Lincoln Rose bush used to be before the gophers took it out.
Now when I think about God seeing everything in my heart, I squish my eyes closed because I know there is some gopher damage there. But then I hear Him urging me to open my eyes and see what He sees.
“Look,” He says. “See how this plant is beginning to bloom here? Smell how sweet this blossom is. I'll show you how to cut these properly so you can give some blooms to your friends, and even more will grow back.”
I guess it's not such a scary thing, then, that God can see everything.