Looking for Recognition.
Then we come to the first of John's heart-breaking sentences. John had a hard time writing his Gospel. He was not simply writing a book. That might have been fairly easy for him with his personal knowledge and all the facts so familiar. But he is telling about his dearest Friend. And the telling makes his heart throb harder, and his eyes fill up, and the writing look dim to him, as he tries to put the words down.

Listen: He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world recognized, or rather acknowledged, Him not. It was His world, His child, His creation. He had made it. But it failed to acknowledge Him. He came walking down the street of life. He met the world going the other way. And He gave it a warm good-morning greeting. And it knew Him full well. It knew who He was. But it turned its face aside and walked by with no return greeting. This is what John is saying. It recognized, it acknowledged Him not.

You mothers know the glad hour that comes in a mother's life when her little babe of the wee weeks knows her for the first time. She's busy bathing or nursing, or, she's just hovering over the precious morsel of humanity when there's really nothing needing to be done. And the babe's eyes catch her own and a smile comes, the first smile of recognition. And the mother-heart gives a glad leap. She murmurs to herself, "Oh, baby knows me!"

And when the father comes home that night she greets him with, "Baby knew me to-day." And there's a soft bell-like tender ring in her voice that vibrates on the strings of his heart. And all the folks within range are advised of the day's event. And the mother clear forgets all the sharp-cutting pain back there just a little before, in this joy, this look of recognition.

I knew of a woman. She was of an old family, of unusual native gift, and rare accomplishment. And her babe came. And the time came when ordinarily there would be that first sweet look of recognition, but -- it didn't come. There was a defect; something not as it should be. And you mothers all know how she felt, yes, and you true fathers, too. She was heart-broken. And she turned aside from all the busy round of activity in which she had been the natural leader. And for years she devoted all her splendid talents, her strength and time, to just one thing, a very simple thing; only this, -- getting a look of glad recognition out of two babe-eyes.

He looked into the face of His child, His world, for the look of recognition. But there was none. And He was heart-broken. And He devoted all His strength and time, Himself, for those human years to -- what? One thing, just one thing, a very simple thing, only this: to getting a look of recognition out of the eyes of His child.

Aye, there's more yet here. He looks into our faces, eager for that simple direct answering look into His face and out of our eyes, yours and mine. And we give Him -- things, church-membership, orthodox belief, intense activity, aggressive missionary propaganda, money in good measure, tireless, and then tired-out service -- things! And all good things. But the thing, the direct look into His own face answering His own hungry searching look, that look in the face that reveals the inner heart that He waits for so often, and waits, a bit sore at heart.

For you know the eye is the face of the face. It's the doorway into the soul, out through which the soul, the man within, looks. I look at you, the man inside here looks out at you through my eye. And I look at the real you down through your eye. The real man is hidden away within, but looks out through the eye and is looked at only through the eye. We really give ourselves to Jesus in the look direct into His face which tells Him all, and through which He transforms us.

the real thing of light
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