Jesus, these eyes have never seen
That radiant form of thine;
The veil of sense hangs dark between
Thy blessed face and mine.
I see thee not, I hear thee not,
Yet art thou oft with me;
And earth hath ne'er so dear a spot,
As where I meet with thee.
Like some bright dream that comes unsought
When slumbers o'er me roll,
Thine image ever fills my thought,
And charms my ravished soul.
Yet, though I have not seen, and still
Must rest in faith alone,
I love thee, dearest Lord, and will,
Unseen, but not unknown.
This hymn begins with the paradox that, even though we don't see or hear Jesus with our earthly senses, we can still know him. Jesus' presence is not in some far off heavens or on some high mountain but here with us on earth.
At first I thought it odd to compare God's presence to a dream, but as I thought about it, I realized that, just as we have no control over what we dream, God's grace often comes to us as surprise without our input. We cannot earn it or control it, yet God chooses to visit us, fill us, and charm our ravished soul. In the end we know that our faith must rest in the conviction of things not seen. Although our eyes may not see, we can love because we were first loved. We can know because we are known by a gracious God.