Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Light of the Body

"The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light."  (Matthew 6:22)

A few years ago, I was given a compliment that cheered my heart for more than the obvious reason. It came from an unassuming young girl who happened to be sitting next to me in an English class I was part of that term. "I love your eyes," she said. Then she thought a minute and said, "They're young eyes." I thanked her sincerely. When you're not really young, anything young-looking about you is a plus!

Later, when I (smugly) related the incident to my husband, he reminded me of this verse in Matthew six. As you may or may not know, the eye is not really a disperser of light, but a receiver. Yet God calls it "the light of the body." Not because it originates there, but because it accumulates there.

The Oxford English Dictionary defines a "single-eyed" person as one who is "sincere, honest, or straight-forward." This would be in contrast to the one in verse twenty-three who has an "evil eye," rendering their whole body "full of darkness." The way we see things has much to do with the way we look at them, if you catch my meaning.

When John the Baptist saw Jesus, he said, "Behold the Lamb of God" (John 1:29); but others said of Him, Behold a man gluttonous, and a winebibber..." (Matt. 11:19). Same Man—two completely different visions. The former saw Him with a "single" eye, but the latter, with an "evil" one. And make no mistake; the way we see Him is the way we will portray Him to others. If He is vague, limited, unfair, or harsh in our own eyes, that is the way He will come across to those with whom we interact. But on the other hand, if He is all-powerful, fair, merciful, and most important, real, to our way of seeing, He will veritably shine through us, like the Sun through a window (Malachi 4:2).

If my eyes looked young to that young woman, it must have been because they reflect the eternal life that lives within me. Beside this verse in Matthew, you will find these words, in my Bible: "A single eye steadily fixed upon one object will make the path luminous." And as long as my eyes are "steadily fixed" upon the Eternal Son of God, the Light of the World, they will shine a clear path before me...and they will never cease to be young.

As you know, we are often able to see our own reflection in the eyes of another; and my desire is that this world will be able to see a reflection of Jesus Christ in mine, till they close in death.

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