watching eyes

I've been thinking more about family and children lately. And I remembered a French movie I saw once that made an impression on me. Caché, directed by Michael Haneke. It begins with a family receiving anonymous video tapes that appear to be surveillance of their home. The tapes keep arriving and they start to get concerned. Who is watching them? As the story unfolds, several deep secrets about the parents emerge, and their child and the child of an old family acquaintance play important parts.

What was especially striking was the closing scene. (You can watch it here, starting about six minutes in.) The children characters appear, but they are not the focus, and you can't hear anything they say. What you see is the steps of a school with many children gathered there. Just a normal scene of school children, for maybe two minutes, then that's the end.

What I took away from this is the awareness of children as watchers. Who's watching us? Our children, always. It's really constant surveillance. And with eyes that have not been taught why things must be as they are. So they question and challenge and resist and often rebel. In any case, we are tested by the eyes of our children, and our lives are reflected back to us in those eyes.

This might seem unnerving, perhaps it should be. But I also see this as a way God uses to get through to us. A way to show us our own life, not as we see it, but as innocent eyes see it. I think it's a way God holds a mirror up to us, to help us see. Marriage can do this as well, I think, but a child's view is different from an adult's. So it's one more way for God to show us our life, and perhaps give us a chance to improve it.