The longer I am gone the more I want to look at my wife. The more days I spend out of the country the more I want to see my kids. Let me re-write that last sentence. The more I am away, the more I want to look into the eyes of the ones I love. I want to see them, and be seen by them. What I am trying to say here is really impossible to say with words. We have tried. We exchanged texts, Facebook and even a few phone conversations. It’s just not the same.
Jesus met Peter and the Bible says “He looked at him, and told him that from that day forward he would be called Peter…”. A rich young man came to Jesus and the Bible records these words, “Jesus looked at him and loved him…” What is it about Jesus that allows Him to look in a man’s eyes and change his identity? What is it about “looking” and “loving” that the two seem to go together inseparably?
I have always carried this idea of Jesus, that He would make long and intentional eye contact with men and women, and in so doing allow people to see God, and to be seen by God. Shame would fall away, and life would be imparted.
We just spent three days making long and intentional eye contact with a roomful of strangers and now they are family. We cried with a woman who has an unbelievable history of rejection and abandonment, and watched as love and acceptance overcame the lies of her past. We rejoiced as three sisters looked again at one another through new eyes. When they did they saw one another and were seen by one another in new ways, restoring and deepening old relationships. We watched as an angry and wounded man, who had declared he would never again care about relationships, gazed into the eyes of his wife as if she were the most beautiful creation on the planet. We watched a woman who had been “invisible” all her life, be “seen” by a room full of people. She began to radiate with life and beauty as she was “known anew” by those who had known her for her entire life.
We didn’t just look at one another, we saw with new eyes, and discovered the power of being truly seen. Shame and fear melted away, love and acceptance took its place.
Jesus said the eyes are the lamp of the body, I wonder what all this means?
Today, look at someone you love. I mean while they are looking at you. Get uncomfortable. On the other side of that is the great comfort of being known and accepted. Look at a stranger as if they matter to God. Perhaps they have never seen themselves in that way. Perhaps you can start something new in them without a word.
The disciples passed by a lame man on the side of the road. When he asked for money they said, “we don’t have money but what we do have we give to you, LOOK AT US.” And when he looked at them he was no longer lame. I wonder if this still happens today?