THERE’S AN ALL-SEEING EYE WATCHING YOU
My tastes in music and my theology have certainly changed since then, but when I was a small child, my favorite song was a song we sang occasionally at church and pretty often at home.
That’s another story, but, yes, as hard as it is for most of us to imagine now, when I was growing up, my family spent quite a bit of time singing together around the table or in the living room at home. (We were at home occasionally back then instead of bouncing, kicking, throwing, putting, or serving all manner of balls every evening of the week. Not that those are bad things, you understand, but our society does seem to have a significant problem with balance and priorities, don’t you think?)
To make the music work, so that a family filled with low-voiced altos and basses could manage to fake four parts, we lowered the pitch of the songs pretty drastically. My sister sang the melody, Mom sang alto (I can still hear her smooth alto tones), Dad stretched to catch the tenor (a tenor, he was not, but he strove manfully onward and did the job), and, as my voice changed, I picked up the bass. My younger brother, who had the hardest time sitting still for family singing sessions, fidgeted, and, when my much older brothers and their wives were around, we just spread out the parts as needed. We still manage to find time to sing whenever we all get together, and though Mom and Dad are gone, they still seem to be very much a part of the proceedings. Upon reflection, it was a really nice way to grow up.
OK. Back to that song.
For at least a little while in my young life, my favorite song was a questionable piece entitled, “Watching You.” I’m told that I used to prance around the house singing, “Otching Ooh!” (way before I could sing bass). Not filled with the greatest music or the best theology, that song pictured God as an “all-seeing eye watching you.”
I must have been pretty young. I obviously wasn’t old enough to have smoked grapevine on a Scout campout or puffed pencil shavings in an old pipe back behind our house (that was a very hot smoke!), or the idea of an all-seeing eye watching me would have been much less comforting. The fact is, at that age, I didn’t care what the song said, I just liked snappy and upbeat music, and it had that, if not much else.
Yes, my musical tastes have changed — and so has my understanding of God. Is God watching me? Is he watching you?
Yes, I believe he is, but not because he’s an all-seeing cosmic code enforcement officer just waiting to catch us in a mistake. He’s watching us because, if we’re his children, we’re the sons and daughters in whom he delights.
Curtis Shelburne is minister at 16th and Ave. D Church of Christ in Muleshoe. He can be contacted at: