"Look into my eyes..."

Can you remember that saying from cartoon characters of times past?  It was usually uttered by a vampire or villain who was trying to put his victim into a trance, simply by having them look into his eyes.  It was usually followed by the victim succumbing to the villain’s commands, and then committing something dastardly that they wouldn’t have done if they hadn’t looked into the villain’s eyes and fallen into his trance.  Watching the cartoons as a kid, I often yelled out loud at times like those knowing what would happen, “No, don’t look into his eyes!”

Have you ever looked into someone’s eyes for an extended period of time it total silence?  Perhaps you have gazed into the eyes of your new born baby, your kids, spouse or a loved one who was dying?  Did it elicit loving feelings and wonder or did it make you feel uncomfortable and awkward?  When you are in a conversation with someone, do you find your eyes looking away from them when you speak?  I do that at times.  I also notice that some people look up when they speak, especially after I have asked them a question.  

I have been told that this phenomenon is caused by insecurities and feelings of inferiority within people.  I have also heard that when people look away from you when they speak, especially when they are answering your question, they are not always telling you the truth.  It seems by looking up or away, people are seeking some kind of insulation or momentary distancing from whom they are speaking to.  I caught myself immediately looking up one time, as I answered with a lie to a question from my boss.  

This morning I stared into Lucy’s big brown eyes (my two year old Golden Retriever), for an extended period of time.  In doing so, I saw that physically, dog’s eyes are different than humans.  Their pupils aren’t as pronounced as humans and their irises take up most of the eye, not leaving very much white around the edges.  When I looked into her eyes, I instantly felt a deep love and total devotion coming from her eyes.  It was as if her eyes were saying, “I love you Dad with all that I am and if I could, I’d crawl up on your lap right now. "  She didn’t have a problem with her eyes moving up or sideways when our eyes locked onto each other.   She just sat there, about 12” away from my face staring into my eyes..…and then she licked my face.

I think people don’t look each other in the eyes often enough.  I think people are too busy talking, thinking about what they will say next or they’re just too rushed to stop for a second and look others in the eyes.  It’s hard to focus on anything else while you are looking someone in the eyes.  Try it, but let me warn you, it might make you feel awkward and uncomfortable after just a few seconds.

In a devotional I read this weekend about healing our feelings of inferiority, the author stated that the only accurate assessment of our worth comes from looking into the eyes of the One who loved us enough to die in our place.  That would be Jesus Christ.  I thought long and hard about that.  If I were staring Jesus Christ in the eyes, how would I feel?  He would already know instantly what I had done in the past and what I was thinking.  Wow, I honestly think it would make me feel a little, well…uncomfortable.  I don’t like that in me. 

We will all stare Jesus in the eyes one day, and as I face him for the first time ever and we lock onto each other’s eyes, I want it to feel better than staring into Lucy’s eyes.  I want to feel his forgiveness, his grace, his kindness and enough love coming from those eyes to show me that I was well worth dying for.  I bet it will be just like that, immeasurably so; and I bet it will be one of the last tears I shed from my eyes when I feel that love.

Have a wonderful week, and join me as I press on… fighting for the hearts of others!

Sarah Gillihan