Every day this week, check back for a new post on the eyes. Thanks for reading, Travis.
Awhile back I was having a conversation with a teen who had just returned from a missions trip. She was describing her experiences, and was telling a story about how she and a another girl on the team found themselves in a ghetto-type neighborhood, and they felt so surrounded by “the world,” with several x-rated movie rental places, posters for adult movies in the windows, bars and strip clubs lining the street that they were walking. “It was so bad,” they said, that they counseled each other, “don’t look at anything, don’t even look ahead, just look down at your feet.” Eventually, they turned right and found a safer street to get them back to where they we’re supposed to be.
I’ve been thinking about this for a week or so now, and while I understand their perspective, I don’t agree with the mindset. Of course, in the first place, I don’t think that two young girls should have been alone in a neighborhood like that, however I think many christians share their same mindset, regardless. It’s almost like if we don’t see it, it’s not really there. Or, as long as we don’t see it, it can’t hurt us.
God, open our eyes! We’ve got to learn to look through and beyond the temporal things of this world to the people, eternal, beneath it all. It’s kind of like the screen advertising we see on buses driving by. The whole bus is covered in an ad for something, even the windows, and we can’t see the people inside, just the advertisement. What is not noticeable from the outside, is that the ad is not printed on solid material, but on a type of screen, with thousands of holes. The people inside can see out, clear as day. If our first reaction is to become so offended at the external, people will see that we are offended (disgusted) with them (or the way they live), and we’ll never get a chance to get beyond the outward to see what’s inside.
My good friend and pastor, Brent Borthwick, puts it this way: “it’s not about who you are not, but who you are.” We need to spend less time talking about how bad the world is, and how everyone in it is heading straight to hell, and spend more time focusing on who we are in Jesus, and how we can reach out and save whoever we can from wherever they are.
To me, we are showing defeat when we hang our heads as if in shame. Have we forgotten who we are? Our faith isn’t so brittle that it would be shattered at the first pebble thrown at us. So, what do we miss when we put our heads down? Moreover, who do we miss? What connection could have been made, had our eyes been open?
Tomorrow, check back for the 2nd post in this 4 part series:
Making the Connection: Eye Contact