I first notice a person’s eyes. They are usually a good indicator of the temperament or disposition of the bearer; a visual indicator of comments well received or casually discarded. Many of my friends, myself included, have developed lines around their eyes; some laugh lines, some sorrow lines. Eyes are adorned with cosmetics, glasses, and strategically placed fringe for hiding behind. Mine often tear up; or drop down; or close. I’ve beheld loved ones who couldn’t hold a gaze; others who can’t release a stare.
All eyes search. For answers…recognition…acceptance…compassion. Unless the bearer is extremely crafty, or self-controlled, their eyes will give away a lie or poorly concealed love. But what we all look for as we search other’s eye is understanding; support. From another gaze we gather strength or perceive condemnation.
Perhaps you will agree with me; eyes are very important
“The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. BUT if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!” Jesus said this in Matthew 6:22-23, sandwiching it between laying up treasures in heaven and the incapability of serving two masters. Honestly, I paused at this…the eye thing…It appears to be a metaphor, not using ‘like or as’ to compare but states, “The lamp of the body is the eye.” My eye is a lamp….showing goodness (light) or badness(dark). Still meditating on this I continued my reading in one of my favorite psalms…91…and in verse 7-8 it reads, ‘A thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand; but it shall not come near you (the destruction, pestilence and terror mentioned in verse 5&6). Only with your eyes shall you look and see the reward of the wicked.’ (the falling part) I understood.
Perspective. Vision. Discernment.
Stuff happens in my eyesight continuously….whether I am watching people or watching the news. If my eyes only see these happenings in one or two dimensions, darkness begins to fill my body in the form of discouragement (doom and gloom), envy (look at what they have/get away with), or discontent (my body/hair/car/coffee doesn’t look like THAT!) It is then that my perspective can either lighten or darken the lamp of my body, my soul. Looking at the world around me in the dimension of eternity lightens my sight, filling my body with light and good.
We live, we laugh, we cry, we hurt, we die…
It is universal, don’t think otherwise. Rich people suffer, poor people are comforted, famous people can feel alone, and isolated people can feel great companionship. It’s perspective. And vision. And choice.
Ephesians 1:18 speaks of the great gift God gives us in the form of the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Jesus…’that the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling…’
And in this Christmas season, when, regardless of the origins of ancient celebrations, we celebrate the gift of Jesus Christ to take away our darkness and give us His Eternal Light…I will protect my eyes (and my heart) from viewing the things I absolutely-must-have-to-be-happy-and-feel-important and instead look into the eyes of my friends, neighbors, loved ones and the occasional Salvation Army bell-ringers and impart light, hope, love, and gratitude…for my Eternal Hope, for my precious family and friends, and for the knowledge that I can choose gratitude in the midst of darkness.