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December 2017 Newsletter

An ongoing series of informational entries

The Windows to the Soul? 

By Laurie Nichols

Dec 1, 2017

There’s something very powerful about looking someone in the eye. It’s personal, and often times, if we are honest, nerve-wracking. Can they see something in us we don’t want them to see? Will they see our faults, our shortcomings, our smudges?

There is great intimacy in gaining, and maintaining, eye contact with someone. There is also something very biblical and honoring about it. There is a wonderful little story in Acts 3 which reminds us of the importance of this simple act:

One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer—at three in the afternoon. Now a man who was lame from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts. When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money. Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, “Look at us!” So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them. (Acts 3:1-5)

I don’t believe it’s possible to go through life truly understanding that those around us are made in the image of God without looking them in the eye. When we stop long enough to look into another’s eyes, we honor their humanity, we authenticate the wonder of God in them, we open our hearts to be softened to their story.

We’ve all seen them, and perhaps we are even one of them at points. You know…the people who lower their heads and their eyes when people walk by, or won’t make eye contact unless prompted. The reasons for this are many—shame, fear, comparison, loneliness.

Scripture tells us God’s response to these people: “But you, O Lord, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head” (Ps. 3:3). He lifts the heads and makes eye contact. He brings humanity and dignity to those who hurt. As followers of Him, we have the opportunity to do the same. It’s a simple act, really.

The moment their eyes connect with ours, we pause in wonder, exclaiming, “You have beautiful eyes.”

Sometimes, loving others as Christ loves us is as simple as that first step. And you never know where the conversation will go from there. Keep your head lifted high, friends, as you continue to bring dignity and hope to those who are wounded.