(Inspired by my granddaughter Samaria – Thank You Jesus for using little children to shed Light on Your Word)
Gazing! This word carries thoughts of losing oneself in a magnificent sunset or fixing our attention to the stars in a night sky. Gazing is indicative of looking steadily and intently at something in wonder, fascination, awe, or admiration. This is exactly the reason I often sit and gaze into the eyes of my grandchildren. There is a world of possibility to be unlocked in those eyes, and will unfold before me should the Lord let me live long enough to watch it happen. Even the most special memories with my own children as infants was time spent gazing into their eyes. In my opinion, there is nothing on earth comparable to the beauty and purity found in the eyes of God’s children. Oh yes! There are breathtaking sunrises and sunsets, incredible landscapes, awe-inspiring nature scenes including land, water, and animals, but none of them compares to the pure magnificence found in the eyes of young children.
In order to truly appreciate how special and unique infants are we must take the time and make the effort to gaze into their eyes during the first few months of life when they are not easily distracted by other things. The result is that they gaze right back and there is a “connection”. When gazing into the eyes of my grandchildren, whether for two or ten minutes, my admiration and fascination in them grows, and my awe of Almighty God skyrockets. It is always illuminating to me how infants do not feel uncomfortable or awkward as we gaze intently at one another. But as they get older and start noticing details, I am the one who gets a little uncomfortable. When they stop gazing and start staring because of the wrinkles, moles, acne or other facial “defects” appearing as a result of wear, tear, and age I tend to limit their gazing! It gets even worse when they begin to pick and pull at these protrusions and I know the time is coming when they exclaim with disgust “What is this Grandma?”(Come on, you know what I am talking about). This is definitely an opportunity to laugh at ourselves and the joy of aging! Nonetheless, the eyes have it! Exploring the depths of possibility by gazing into the eyes of God’s people is one of the most positive things we can add to our relationships.
As in most things in life, God teaches me a spiritual truth through physical things. So naturally when I think of gazing into the eyes of my grandbabies, my mind gravitates to gazing into the eyes of my Jesus. The Bible contains over five hundred references to eyes in general but the “eyes of the Lord” are referred to nearly one hundred times. We could have a theological discussion about His “eyes” or debate whether God is referring to them literally or just using His eyes as a metaphor to describe His heart of understanding or some other quality. But undoubtedly we would simply end up frustrated and far away from entertaining the idea of gazing into the eyes of God. The truth is that most often when “eyes” are referred to in the Word of God there are both physical and spiritual implications and if we forbid ourselves to think in literal terms we limit the “personal” relationship because we do not “look” at Him. In other words, if we think only metaphorically in reference to His eyes, we can keep God at a distance and avoid the reality He “looks” intently at us. We maintain a formal relationship!
How many people really make the time and effort to gaze into the eyes of God? When I came to know God personally I would spend hours gazing into His eyes coming to know Him as never before. But then something deeper happened. He began to “stare” as well as “gaze” at me, much like my grandchildren do, finding all the blemishes, causing me to be a little uncomfortable. Staring carries the connotation of having an effect on another person as you earnestly search for something in them. God was certainly having an effect on me! As I continued to gaze into His eyes, our intimacy grew, the awe and fascination grew, and God began to search my heart and find those things He wanted and needed to clean up.
The thing is we should not be uncomfortable in the presence of God even when He begins to stare and reveal the sin which needs to be removed, anymore than we should want to limit our grandchildren from seeing the “real” us as they notice our imperfections! The truth is the awe and fascination never needs to end. As we get to know God at a deeper level, and as our grandchildren discover new things about us, opportunities for growth happen. Having our defects exposed is not a negative experience nor should we avoid or cover them up but rather continue to let God expose and clean us up. The truth is our grandchildren will love us no matter what, wrinkles, moles, and all. And God? He loves us even with all the wrinkles, moles, and sin in our lives. But unlike our grandchildren, God has the power to change, transform, and renew us, ridding our lives of the sin and stain, the things which keep us from gazing upon His beauty.
We all know there are people who are just not “baby” people, not really liking babies. Being a lover of babies, I do not understand that BUT it is true nonetheless. And just like many people do not get overly excited about looking at infants, many Christians do not get excited about gazing into the eyes of God. The people I know who are not “baby” people prefer to wait until the children are older so they interact with them. I suppose this is all well and good though in my humble opinion they are missing out on one of the greatest miracles this side of heaven. But I wonder if something like this happens when it comes to intimacy with God and the concept of gazing into His eyes. Perhaps we wait to get up close and personal with God until He interacts with us, showing and teaching us things. Unfortunately we miss out on a great miracle this side of heaven, communing with the Lover of our souls, when we do not take the time and make the effort to “like” spending time simply admiring and being in awe of Him.
His eyes have it! We can see God and know Him more fully when we look into His eyes just as sure as we can tell things about people simply by looking into their eyes. We know when people are hiding or withholding something, lying, stretching the truth, embarrassed, afraid, confused, worried, angry, frustrated, at peace, hopeful, kind, loving, joyful, or patient to name a few. Though non-verbal gestures and expressions show a lot, the eyes still have it!
Matthew 6:22 tells us the eye is a light to the body and if our eyes are good (looking towards good) our whole body is filled with light. It makes sense then why looking into the eyes of infants gives a glimpse of purity and light found nowhere else on earth. They do not have fear, embarrassment, confusion, worry, anger, or hopelessness. In the first few months they have only light! I am captivated by gazing into the eyes of infants and young children; such bright lamps and bodies full of light! I can clearly see the potential, goodness, purity, innocence, and splashes of brilliance when gazing. If you haven’t tried it, the next time you are around someone with a young baby, take some time to gaze into their light. (Just make sure it is someone you know or else it will look like you are a real creeper). But honestly, the more you look, the better you feel. If I am having a hard day and then sit with one of my grandchildren, gazing into their eyes, light fills my soul. Of course part of it because they are such a special gift from Father God, but I am convinced the light spills over and reminds me to keep my eyes, my lamp, shining brightly for Jesus so that my whole body is filled with light instead of letting my eye be bad so I am filled with darkness.
If we look into the eyes of God, there is a Light to behold which cannot be seen if we remain bound by the limits of earth. Instead through prayer in Jesus’ Name and the power of Holy Spirit, we unite our spirits with God, the Creator of the Universe, Savior of our souls, Light of the world! Then His light splashes into our bodies, minds, souls, and spirits bringing with it purity, possibility, and passion! There is a depth in Christ only attained as we gaze into His eyes for extended periods of time. Just a passing glance doesn’t cut it, anymore than a passing glance upon an infant does not open you to the beauty of their light!
In Song of Solomon 5:12 we read “His eyes are like doves by the rivers of waters, washed with milk, and fitly set.” Again, if we choose to debate how to “read” this Scripture we miss out on the spiritual truth because whether speaking literally or metaphorically, the conclusion is the same; the eyes of the Lord are beautiful and we gain knowledge about them from Scripture. From that knowledge we should take time to gaze into His eyes as we meet Him in our quiet prayer time. This simile from Scripture compares dove’s eyes with the eyes of God. A simile tells us they are similar yet separate entities but it helps us know what His eyes look like by looking at a dove. Dove’s eyes are fair and clear like glassy water giving a perfect reflection. They are washed with milk, meaning they are white, thus clean. And fitly set reminds us again of perfection, not set in or out but a perfect fit.
The eyes of God are pure and kind, the type that melt your heart when you look into them. His eyes are pure, clean, washed, and simply perfect! When we walk in Christ and gaze into His eyes we see a reflection of what He needs us to see. As we gaze, the need for washing, cleansing and right fitting is obvious and welcomed by us. We are transformed as we renew ourselves in His Word, in His presence.
Most assuredly, this side of heaven there are limits. 1 Corinthians 13:12 “For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.” But that is why we learn about His eyes being like a dove’s eyes because then we “know” what His eyes are like and what they do for us. As we choose to gaze into the eyes of God we experience 2 Corinthians 3:18 “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.”
If you think God’s creation is beautiful – take some time to gaze into His most intimate creations – His children! The eyes have it! Every time!