Apparently,’The eyes are the mirror of the soul'(Yiddish proverb)
The missionary Amy Carmichael famously prayed that God would change her brown eyes to blue. He didn’t – for good reason.
Often our eyes betray our true emotions, so when Irish eyes are smiling, our hearts are smiling too!
One of my best discoveries in recent years has been trail running. I love running through nature, listening to God-songs. The song ‘Give me your eyes’ by Brandon Heath is on my ‘On the run’ playlist. These words challenge me every time:
‘Give me your eyes for just one second.
Give me your eyes so I can see,
Everything that I keep missing,
Give me your love for humanity
Give me your arms for the broken hearted,
Ones that are far beyond my reach.
Give me your heart for the ones forgotten,
Give me your eyes so I can see’
Wow! Imagine having God’s vision for even just one second! Imagine being granted a brief moment to truly see others & get a glimpse of their reality through the lens of His penetrating gaze & his heart of love.
Yet, looking beyond ourselves & even glancing at others & considering their wishes at all is so counter- cultural to society’s norm.
God’s eyes look beyond polished exteriors & designer clothes to the heart- the reality deep within, the attitude of the heart & the burdens carried there.
For,’The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart’(1 Samuel 16:7)
Our God is the God who really, truly,deeply sees directly into our heart & souls. Hagar had fled, barefoot & pregnant from her unbearable situation. She was found by the Angel of the Lord in the desert. Hagar gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.” (Genesis 16:13 NIV)
‘Eyes are the home of silent prayers’ (Alfred Tennyson) & God saw through Hagar’s eyes, into her heart, & answered her unspoken prayers.
Sometimes, as we meander through life, we have our eyes wide shut!
It’s true that ‘People only see what they are prepared to see’ (Ralph Waldo Emerson)
So,what will we choose to see?
We can get distracted by eye candy – attractive, dazzling sights-photos & advertisements that disappear from our screens & visual fields too quickly.
To have God’s vision & perspective, we need to set our eyes on Jesus.We need to focus on ‘fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.’ (Hebrews 12:2 NIV)
Jesus, God the Son, could also truly,deeply see into lives.‘When He saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed & helpless, like sheep without a shepherd’ (Matthew 9:36) The Message says that His heart broke, as He saw how confused & aimless the people were.
‘Keep the Son in your eyes’- a T-shirt slogan exclaimed last summer!
If we have Jesus in our eyes, if we see through His eyes, we will even be able to ‘Look at annoying people with imaginative love'(Carolyn Simon)
With His perspective, we can see beyond angular personalities & prickly people, through the lens of His love & grace.
For,’The voyage of discovery is not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes’
(French Novelist Marcel Proust)
‘For beautiful eyes look for the good in others’ (Audrey Hepburn)
(Slogan for Show Hope)