I recently found myself in worship singing,
Open the eyes of my heart, Lord
Open the eyes of my heart
I want to see You
I want to see You.
And then I ducked.
I ducked because I suddenly remembered that God had warned Moses that if Moses actually saw God, he would instantly die. Instead, God offered to cover Moses' eyes while he passed by, and then, once he passed by Moses, to let Moses see his "backside."
Since I didn't want to die that instant—I had a playoff game to watch after church—I stopped singing. But I didn't want others to think I didn't love God, so I started singing again, but quietly, with a revised text:
Cover the eyes of my heart, Lord
Cover the eyes of my heart
I want to see your backside
I want to see your backside.
This version failed to inspire me for some reason, so I stopped singing the chorus again, even though it risked my Christian reputation. Still, I joined in heartily at these lines:
To see you high and lifted up
Shining in the light of your glory
Lord, pour out your power and love
as we sing Holy, Holy, Holy.
And then I remembered that, according to Paul, "high and lifted up" is precisely where God is not to be found. I was singing like those who expect to see God in wondrous signs and others who think they'll find him in glorious wisdom. But Paul said that Jesus is not to be found "high and lifted up" but "down and lowly": "For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified" (1 Cor. 1:2223, ESV). So I began revising these lines:
To see you low and despised
Shining in the light of your glory …
Lord, pour out your weakness and love
As we sing Holy, Holy, Holy.
That last part—about "pour out your weakness and love"—just came to me, ...