Some of the biblical images of God are very beautiful, such as the portrayal of God in the Book of Zephaniah 3:17: “The Lord, your God is in your midst, a mighty savior; he will rejoice over you with gladness, and renew you in his love; he will sing joyfully because of you, as one sings at festivals.”
It is a far cry from the stern figure on the throne to the exuberant God breaking out into song when he looks at us. What will the neighbors think?
“He will renew you with his love” is a beautiful thought translated from the Greek version, but the Hebrew is even more beautiful: “He will be silent in his love.” Picture God gazing on us in silence, loving and appreciating us, without saying anything. This is contemplation. God turns the tables on us. We are supposed to contemplate God, but God is contemplating us. Once a reporter asked Mother Teresa, “What do you say to God when you pray?” “I just listen.” “What does God say to you?” “He just listens.”
The love of God for us is expressed in extremes: a silent gaze of love at one moment, a rousing song of joy at another. When God looks at us, what he sees makes him sing.