As we are

Many people don’t like to appear in a photograph. As a newspaper reporter, I’ve met several who didn’t want their picture published in the newspaper. Although I usually never asked why some told me they didn’t like the way the camera depicts them.

A camera only places an image on film or a memory disk. It doesn’t criticize. It doesn’t make jokes about someone’s appearance. It only takes a moment in time and memorializes it.

Isaiah wrote there was a moment when he stood in the presence of the Lord (Isaiah 6:1). He saw the Seraphim, the angels who continually praise God and heard them proclaim his holiness, purity, and power. His response to God’s glory, however, was not about the Lord, but about himself.

“Woe is me, for I am ruined,” Isaiah exclaimed. At the moment the prophet saw the Lord he realized the truth about himself. Don Shackelford wrote, “Humankind’s problem has always been that we compare ourselves to others rather than to God.”[1]

It is very possible in our lifetimes that we look at ourselves in the mirror, in photographs, videos or even in the newspapers and never really see ourselves. We see others and may criticize them for their shortcomings, but we never see what we are. We are all sinners. We all need forgiveness.

One of the angels carried a “coal” taken from the altar and applied it to Isaiah’s lips and said, “your sin is forgiven,” (Isaiah 6:6). There is a great lesson in this simple statement.

God sees us warts, sin and all and still loves us. He wants to forgive us, but if we love him, we must see ourselves as we are, and we must cleanse ourselves from our sins by obeying the gospel just as people did in the apostles’ day (Acts 2:37-39). Do you want forgiveness? God is ready. Are you?

[1]Truth for Today Commentary: Isaiah” by Don Shackelford, Eddie Cloer general editor, Resource Publications, page 95.