One of the more pleasant sights in Corpus Christi is that which one sees as he crosses the harbor bridge. From the top of the bridge, the city looks immaculate. One sees the tops of green trees. In the morning as the early morning sun stands over the bay, the water sparkles. The swaying palms and the white surf with the sailboats in the bay lends an air of serenity. The gulls fly, the ships come and go, and even an occasional shrimp boat create a multifaceted picture. In the evening one can see the setting of the golden sun as he los down the ship channel, and to the east the moon rising. The lights of the city from high on the bridge sparkle. The blue lights on the aircraft carrier Lexington are a quiet reminder of another age. Even the tall buildings stand in stately grace as they are illumined with light. Lights from other communities are visible. One almost wishes one could stay at the top of the bridge.

But then one is confronted with reality. As one comes down, the beauty is marred. The trash, the bren streets, the dust, the blinking lights enticing the pleasure seeker, together with crime of which one reads with the accompanying unhappiness and distrust among people- all combine to bring one to reality. It is no different in our city then any other city. However, the stark reminder is that things are not always as they appear!

Yet, there is One who is not deceived by the facade of beauty, which hides the real nature of a fallen world. The Psalmist reminds us of the all penetrating eye of the Lord God when he writes, ” Whither shall I go from Thy spirit? Or whither shall I flee from Thy presence” (Psalm 139:7)? The sin-blinded world believes that it can merrily go on its way day by day doing its thing as though in secret and in private. Impossible! The eye of God is upon all the doings of man. Thus, He knew when Adam sinned; He knew when the beautiful garden He had prepared for Adam and Eve had become but a cover for a fallen and thereafter miserable couple. There is a reality that wishing it was so does not make it so: we cannot escape the eye of our Lord. Our Lord is the silent listener to our words and thoughts, as well as the silent witness to all our deeds.

He knows the real state of the world today. Through the sounds of pious religious expression, the Lord is able to distinguish the true and genuine from the false and insincere. Behind the bravado and the smiles and fun, God sees hearts burdened with sin, and distracted by guilt. Behind the beauty of a city, the Lord sees the nature of those who occupy it. The Lord knows!

The all-seeing God is also the God of Love. He desires that the sinner forsake the way of evil and unbelief that lead to eternal judgment to walk in the way of life. If we listen, we hear Him call to repentance. To the oppressed and troubled of heart He says, “Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). He sees also the hurt and pain of His children. Jesus, the Son of God, gives substance to the promised unmatchable beauty. ” He will beautify the meek with salvation” (Psalm 149: 4). The Father has His beautiful people in this world. He calls them “chosen” and “special” (1 Peter 2:9). They are they who have been led to repentance and “have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb” (Revelation 7: 14). Through faith born of the Spirit, they have been clothed in the robes of Christ’s righteousness and salvation. Again, what really is is not what one sees. We live in this world in our sinful flesh, but we are clothed with the righteousness of Christ and the robes of salvation. May we never through unbelief choose to come down from the heights to which our Lord has raised us. May the Lord keep all His children from the evil one until all shall see the beauty of holiness in the face of Jesus Christ in the immaculately beautiful home we call heaven. In addition, when the believer in Jesus Christ gets to heaven, of all the transcending beauty one of the greatest will be that what we see and hear is reality. And we will not have to come down!