St John the evangelist
in the heart
of the surrey hills
Martha's Reflection for week beginning
The eye is the lamp of the body. So if our eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light.
Our eyes serve as windows into the world, enabling us to see and interpret sights. But eyes are also windows into our souls, communicating something of who we are and what we are feeling. When Jesus said, “the eye is the lamp of the body”, he was indicating that eyes have the capacity to illuminate their surroundings. The healthier our eyes are, the more light may emanate from us.
Eyes convey a series of emotions: anger, fear, awe and sheer joy. Think how a person’s eyes open wide at the sight of one of nature’s wonders, or how the eyes of a child shine when she makes a new friend or gains a new understanding. But perhaps most of all, eyes can convey true compassion.
Helmut Thielicke has said that compassion begins with the eyes. Speaking of a recent meeting with a grieving family, a doctor commented, “I was exhausted and desperately sad. My words were inadequate but I looked them in the eye and let them know what we had done and how we had tried”. The doctor’s behaviour with the family signalled involvement and compassion, which always shines forth the from the eyes.
Our present situation, with masks and social distancing often make deep and serious conversation with others difficult. But even with masks on, we can see each others eyes. And those eyes tell us much of another’s thoughts, from the brightness of a smile, to tears of sadness, to expressions of true compassion.
Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.