by Chaya Sachs | November 13 2020
When I was eight years old, I asked my mother where G-d was, and she answered, “Everywhere honey, so just watch out!” Her reply scared me. Was G-d the “eyes in the back of her head” that always seemed to know what I was doing? If He was everywhere and could see and know everything, then He must have seen me being mean to my sister. If He watched everything, then He knew the thoughts in my heart when my brother made me angry. This idea of the Bashefer watching me all the time was very unsettling for me. Maybe my mother had intended for me to be comforted by knowing that the Ribono Shel Olam was everywhere so that I would never be alone. Instead of viewing Him as a caring presence, I saw the Bashefer as a judge waiting to bang the gavel down whenever I did wrong or had bad thoughts.
When I was 12 years old, I met a Christian girl who asked me if I believed in G-d. I immediately blurted out, “Of course I do!” I now know that many people use the name of G-d, and it can have different definitions for different people. Up until that point, most of my friends had been Jewish, and I had no idea who Jesus was. This girl introduced me to Jesus for the first time and told me that G-d loved me and wanted a relationship with me. I received that with no barriers in my heart. I realized that the uncomfortable feelings I had about G-d watching me all the time were from the awareness of sin in my heart.
It’s been nearly 50 years since my mom answered my childhood question, yet I remember clearly how I felt at the time. As I’ve amassed more life experience, my view of G-d has expanded. I believe now that Jesus died for my sins. The chochmah of my mother’s statement has stood the test of time for me. G-d was with me when I married a man I didn’t know very well. HaShem was with me when I moved 10,000 miles away from home, to a country where I had never been before, and where I didn’t know anyone. He was with me when I gave birth to my first child who has Down Syndrome, and my family was living far away across the ocean. G-d was watching me all the time, and now this thought brings me security instead of fear.
The absolute, all-encompassing presence of the Ribono Shel Olam has brought me an inner peace that has surpassed my circumstances and my understanding. This is the message I pass onto my own children now. Yes, the Aibishter is watching you all the time, but He is not watching what other people are watching. To others, the outside can look perfect, but the Bashefer sees the tears you cry inside. He sees the intent of your heart, and He knows you better than anyone else. When you mess up, He forgives you and loves you more than you know. When you don’t know which way to turn in life, He guides you. G-d is always there, is always watching, and will always love you. It gives me naches to pass on this heritage, and I watch the truth confirm itself in my children’s eyes. I know that G-d is watching; He is always watching out for me. He is watching out for my family. This is a bracha beyond belief.
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