[Updated from the archives.]
Frans Hofmeester loves his daughter Lotte. There’s nothing unusual about that. But how he showed that love is out of the ordinary: he took pictures of his daughter from birth to age 14 and then created a video of what she looked like from Day One on.
It’s fun, in an unnerving sort of way, to see Lotte grow up before our eyes in mere moments. Yet it also opened my eyes to understand better how God sees me and all the rest of the billions of people on earth past, present and future.
Every day of our lives – every single day of every single person ever – is constantly before God throughout all eternity.
It’s as if he is always seeing them all in a single moment, but not really because that puts eternity in the language of lapsing time. I think God experiences these things differently than we who experience life merely sequentially, a passage of events one after the other without the ability to return to any moment past.
C.S. Lewis describes it this way in Mere Christianity:
Almost certainly God is not in Time. His life does not consist of moments following one another. If a million people are praying to Him at ten-thirty tonight, He need not listen to them all in that one little snippet which we call ten-thirty. Ten-thirty – and every other moment from the beginning of the world – is always the Present for him.
If Lewis is right about prayer and eternity, then it stands that it applies to our entire lives and God’s ability to see us in eternity. He doesn’t see us in a fast-moving sequence from birth on, like Ian shows us his son in the video; God sees us in all moments all the time (there’s that troublesome word time again).
What really gets me excited as I write this is realizing that God loves me more than I can imagine and therefore actually enjoys seeing all my moments in that eternal-always. I’m excited about that not only because of the love I’ve experienced from God, but because of the love he has allowed me to experience for my own children.
I don’t think I could handle experiencing all the moments of my children’s life at the same time. I don’t think I can handle experiencing even just the wonderful moments I’ve had with them (and I admit some of the non-wonderful moments are much more my fault than theirs).
It would overwhelm me to experience the love I have for them all at once, with no sequence, no shifting from one experience to another with something else in between.
But God can handle this, of course:
See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! (1 John 3:1.)
And that’s how it is, now and for all eternity.