The View from the Top

I was cleaning the outdoor area of the Penguin exhibit today when a small songbird flew over my head. I looked up and followed the path of its flight until it disappeared to the other side of the building beside me. But right beside, and far above, the path of the bird’s flight was another flying creature – an airplane. All I could see was its silvery white belly and two long lines of condensation trailing off the back. It looked like a very small toy. Then I thought about what the view from the plane would be like and realized the passengers wouldn’t even be able to see me from that distance. I was less than a toy – a speck. I remembered taking flights on many trips home and on vacations. Looking out of the windows, I would sometimes try to pick out something to distinguish the landscape below me. Usually, I can’t even figure out which giant city I am flying over. From up that high, everything looks small, insignificant, and all so similar.

We usually think of Heaven being up beyond the sky, yet we know that space is above the sky that we see. Even if it were just above the outer reach of Earth’s atmosphere, that would put God much higher above where that airplane was flying! There are times when it certainly feels like God is that far away. What is amazing is that God isn’t that distant. He isn’t looking down on the Earth and dealing with us at the level of countries and cities. He looks down and sees us as individuals. He saw me today, standing on the Penguin island. He sees me right now, sitting on my couch and typing. He sees you, and is right there for you, always.

“So she called the Lord who spoke to her: The God Who Sees, for she said, ‘In this place, have I actually seen the one who sees me?'” Genesis 16:13


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