Sorry for the extreme closeup of my face (or part of it) – the joys of digital…Anyway, yesterday I read Matthew 6, the second of three chapters that make up the Sermon on the Mount. Verses 22-23 say,
The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light; but if your eye is unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!
Normally when we read something like this, it is about what we are taking in, reading, watching, etc. But here it feels very different…it is about what we are sending out with out eyes. A lamp does not take light in but it sends light out. Our eyes communicate so much even if we don’t realize it.
Several years ago in the midst of one of my deeper times of depression, one person who reached out to me shared that she thought my eyes “looked dead.” While I don’t remember what they looked like at that time, I am pretty sure she was right. Conversely, a few weeks ago I had to get a new drivers license and when the actual license arrived in the mail, I was struck by the fact that it was a pretty decent picture. But I looked specifically at my eyes and I saw so much life and health there. And that was just in a driver’s license picture!
Our eyes say so much about us. They speak about how interested we are in others. They can communicate compassion and care. They can communicate anger and hurt (thinking back to Toy Story 2 and Mrs Potato Head saying, “don’t forget your angry eyes!”). They can speak to what is happening inside of us. They can communicate life and they can communicate death.
In context of the rest of this part of Matthew 6, this feels like it connects with the idea of simply living our faith with joy and vitality. Just before this, Jesus shared that when fasting, don’t make yourself look pathetic but be normal and live. Similarly with prayer, don’t stand and make a show of yourself, but instead make prayer a simple part of life. The chapter concludes with the message about trusting in God’s provision (look at the lilies of the field…) – our eyes can communicate our trust in God’s provision.
So, here is one of my eyes even with a few crazy eyebrows thrown in…