Through the Eyes of a Child


Through the Eyes of a Child

Just last week I met and talked with a friend I hadn't seen in a while. Right away I said, 'You look so sad!" I could tell by her eyes.

Certainly our eyes do serve as a barometer of our inner being and can express deep-rooted feelings and emotions without a word being spoken.

The English poet William Blake said our eyes are "windows of the soul." I'm sure you've noticed that the eyes of those around you communicate in a dramatic way their state of mind-anger, fear, mischief, tenderness, love, excitement, boredom, etc.

Doctors often look into the eyes of their patients while examining them to determine their state of health.

So it's not really surprising to discover that the Bible has much to say about our eyes-there are numerous references throughout both the Old and New Testaments. Only recently have I begun to comprehend just how important our eyes are to our spiritual well-being-that where we look and what we see help determine who we are and what we become.

The Apostle John speaks of the lust of the eyes (1 John 2:16), and Peter warns against those having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin (2 Peter 2:14).

The psalmist, recognizing that what is fed into our eyes affects what we become, affirms, I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes (Psalm 101:3). And the Apostle Paul, in what may be my life's foundation verse, urges us to continue looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2).

The lesson of a look

Several years ago, our ministry had an open house in which we invited friends and partners to come tour our World Outreach Center and visit personally with Dr. Van Impe and me and our staff. About 1,500 people toured our headquarters in a single afternoon-it was wonderful to greet so many friends.

I couldn't help noticing how many little children came through with their parents. And inevitably, when I looked down at them, they would be looking directly into my eyes. I would find myself kneeling to get to their eye level... and happily, many times they ended up in my arms.

But I began noticing how children look at the world. They spend a lot of time looking up! And when they encounter an adult, they look into his or her face, up into the eyes.

Children are very perceptive. They can tell, almost at a glance, if a person is friendly or menacing, if they can trust the person or should run away. By looking into the eyes of the adults around them, they sense if they are welcome or are intruding. And they can tell almost instantly if their parents are pleased with them or disapproving.

Jack and I were having breakfast at a little pancake house not long ago when a mother and her two children came in. They sat at a nearby table-the little boy was unceremoniously dumped into a high chair and the little girl thumped into a chair across from the mother. Once seated, she paid little attention to the youngsters, staring away from them, with a disgruntled look on her face.

When the little boy peered up at the chandelier, pointed a chubby finger and said, "See! See!"-her response was a terse, "Eat!" And when the little girl squirmed and tried insistently to get her mother's attention, the unseeing, uncaring reply was, "Be quiet- sit up."

When Jack and I finished eating and he went to pay the bill, I walked over to the table where this mother and her youngsters were sitting.

"You are so fortunate," I said. With a bit of a start, she asked, "Why?" "You have such beautiful children-they are so sweet." I said. Then I leaned down and looked into the eyes of the little boy and said, "You are so good." My reward was a bright, innocent smile.

"I'm good too," said the little girl.

"I know you are, honey," I acknowledged. "What a sweet sister you are...and so pretty!" With just those few words, the child blossomed like a rose.

The mother barely smiled, even during the little conversation I was having with her children-she hardly responded, managing a mumbled "Thank you" as I walked away.

I couldn't help wondering how many children are rebuffed and desensitized by parents whose eyes are too full of other things to really see and respond to their own youngsters.

"You are a delight!"

Jerry Dillon of Century HealthCare, the largest health-care provider for children in the country operates 52 youth programs and 19 facilities in nine states, specializing in treating emotionally-troubled youngsters.

"If parents would look for the things in their children that delight them, and tell them so, what a difference it would make," says Dillon. "A great prescription to help build a better relationship and a stronger bond between parent and child is simply for the parent to find some reason each day to tell his son or daughter, "You are a delight!"

Much of what we feel-delight or aggravation-is communicated through our eyes, whether we verbalize it or not. So often I've noticed how a child will look into its mother's (or father's) face for approval, guidance, security, reassurance, and love. Without a word being spoken, so many important things are communicated... through the eyes of a child.

Suffer the little children

No wonder children were attracted to our Saviour during His earthly ministry. The New Testament tells how the children thronged about Him until the disciples were going to send them away. But the Lord said, "Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God (Mark 10:14).

The Bible doesn't tell us specifically, but I'm very sure each of those little ones came close to the Lord and looked up into His face, directly into His eyes. What they saw there-love, acceptance, safety-made them relax and feel free. I think they wanted to climb up onto His lap and just be near Him.

Many learned and wise theologians have speculated about the meaning of Jesus' words concerning children and the kingdom of God. Certainly I do not claim to have greater knowledge or wisdom than they have. But I have my own idea about what He meant.

Perhaps He was suggesting that if we looked up into His eyes more often, we would find the peace, direction, and strength we need for our lives. We can find the answer for guilt, sorrow, pain, and loneliness in our Saviour's loving gaze.

Keep your eyes on Jesus

Our problems come when we take our eyes off Jesus, when we look away from His love, guidance, strength, and sustaining power.

The Gospel of Matthew relates the thrilling story of Peter walking on the water toward Jesus. The Lord had come to the disciples as their boat was tossed by a stormy sea. As long as Peter kept his eyes on Jesus, he was fine. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and [began] to sink (Matthew 14:30).

I've found in my own experience that when I felt life's problems were about to overwhelm me, it was because I had taken my eyes off Jesus and fixed them on my troubles. When I looked to Him, He saw me through.

From time to time, I meet an individual who is disillusioned-even cynical-about the Church. Sometimes they say they have lost their faith-they don't believe in anything anymore.

As I visit with people like this, I usually discover that they have been disappointed in the mistakes and failures of a particular religious leader-their eyes had been fixed on a man. Once they looked back to Jesus, the bitterness and disillusionment lost its intensity, and the healing love of Christ could make them over again.

One of the most beautiful and powerful verses in all of the Bible, for me, is found in Matthew's account of Peter, James, and John at the transfiguration of Christ. After the disciples had bowed down in the awesome presence of God, Jesus told them not to be afraid. And the scripture says-And when they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no man, save Jesus only (Matthew 17:8).

No wonder Jesus said we should become as little children to enter the kingdom of God. Their eyes are focused in the right direction. Lord help us to keep our eyes on seek Your will by looking into Your face-through the eyes of a child!

You can view past issues of the JVIM Weekly Newsletter by going to:


Amrita said...

very true. We sometimes just keep our eyes tightly shut.

So glad Mrs Van Impe went over and talked to the kids.

christy rose said...

Yes, Lord! Help us to keep our eyes on Jesus! As we do, trusting you is easy. When we look away, we forget the peace that you bring us, because we can only see the raging life in front of us. Help us to be like little children and look straight into the eyes of Truth.

David C Brown said...

Though Moses died His eyesight did not dim -

O Spirit of the Lord control my sight

That with my eyes exclusively on Him

My body always may be full of light.

BellaColle' said...

I know some of us when we get scared..close our that's going to make a difference..I know I do.
I remember riding this crazy amusement park ride with my father and shutting my eye tight when I was younger... my dad, sensing I was in panic mode, kept saying.. "your okay..your okay, it will be over soon.." If I would have just opened my eyes I would have seen that..But thank you so much for reminding me that, that is the time I need to look a Jesus the most! When I am in panic mode..I can hear Him..but if I would just open my eyes.. His peace would fill me up..thanks dear!

Related Posts Widget for Blogs by LinkWithin