From The Garden Bench - Eyes
Words by David Hollows
What colour are your eyes? Do you have perfect eye sight or, like many people do you wear glasses or contact lenses or both? If so, are you short or long sighted? How do you cope with bi-focal and vary-focal glasses if you have them? Did you know that you can have this in contact lens form as well and that you can use coloured contact lenses to change the natural colour of your eyes? Have you reached the stage of needing reading or distance glasses despite the fact that you eyesight is generally good? If you attend the opticians, how good at you at detecting the flash in the machine as your chin and forehead are squashed up hard against the machine? Did you know that when most men reach the age of 50ish their eyesight swaps around? Did you also know that one of the most significant events in the biological world of science was the moment when the water based creatures were able to see in colour?
Photo by Daniil Kuželev via Unsplash
The ancients used to say that you could look into a person’s eyes and see their soul. Even today, health issues can be diagnosed by looking into the eyes and not just for eye conditions such as cataracts and glaucoma.
In certain professions to look at the eyes is often a better way of judging a person’s current state of mind and mood rather than looking at body language or facial expression.
There’s an old saying; there’s none so blind as them that can’t see as them that won’t. Blindness and related eye health issues are still a major health concern across the world especially in developing countries where non-governmental organisations such as the Christian Blind Mission are active.
In countries such as China and India, pollution is such an issue that at times people cannot see a hand in front of their face owing to the density of the smog.
Eyesight is a feature in the Bible as well.
Samson not only loses his hair and his strength but also his eyes which are gouged out as he is shackled to the grinding treadmill. (Judges chapter 16)
Balaam is unable to physically see what his donkey sees, an impressive angel from God. Yet, when the donkey speaks, Balaam is then brought to his senses in more ways than one.(Numbers chapter 22)
In the Creation story, God could have chosen to turn a blind eye or overlook or look in a different direction rather than see what Adam and Eve had done. But God, being God, saw what He saw and responded to what He could see (Genesis chapter 3) In the New Testament there are 3 types of blindness;
Naturally blind; there are many blind people healed by Jesus such as Bartimaeus (Mark chapter 10) Paul was temporarily blinded until Ananias came and laid hands on Paul (Acts chapter 9)
Morally blind; Jesus refers to the Pharisees as being ‘blind guides and teachers’(Matthew chapter 15 verse 14) In the incident involving the man blind from birth who Jesus heals, the healed man has to confront the Pharisees and explain his healing on the Sabbath (John chapter 9)
Spiritually blind; Jesus accuses the religious leaders of being ‘blind fools’ (Matthew chapter 23 verses 17).Elymas is made blind as a result of his opposition to Paul who accuses Elymas of being a ‘master in every form of deception and recklessness, unscrupulousness and wickedness’ (Acts chapter 13 verse 10)
In His manifesto, Jesus explained from the scrolls that He had come to announce ‘recovery of sight to the blind’ (Luke chapter 4 verse 18) Jesus also promises in His sermon on the mount, The Beatitudes, that the ‘pure in heart, they shall see God’ (Matthew chapter 5 verses 8)
Eternal eyes; Madeline prayed that her children and grandchildren would have ‘eternal eyes.’ Following a season of life issues such as illness, separation and death, Madeline prayed even more that her family members would be less and less near-sighted, overtaken by the pain dealt by life, and more and more long-sighted, filled with hope and looking to her loving God.
So, the issues of eyes, sight, blindness are featured in the Bible as is the issue of vision. This word has two distinct meanings; the physical vision of being able to see something or someone with your eyes, the vision that you receive from outside of your physical ability. Sometimes this type of vision can be a picture in your mind, a dream or a word spoken to you without the presence of another being near to you.
In the Bible, there are many examples of visions sent by God; God speaks to the boy, Samuel, 3 times during the night (1 Samuel chapter 3) Isaiah the prophet is given an awe-inspiring vision of God in heaven (Isaiah chapter 1) In a vision, Daniel was given the answer to the King’s secret (Daniel chapter 2 verse 19) Joseph received a vision from an angel about the baby Mary was carrying and what he was to do (Luke chapter 1 verse 22)
Peter had a vision on the roof of a house about how he is to accept and behave with non-Jews (Acts chapter 11)
Today many Muslim converts to the Christian faith witness to the fact that they had a vision;
‘It all started when I was a child playing with my friends at the beach. I saw a man in white riding a white horse. I pointed him out to my friends but they didn’t see him.’ As an adult, Adnan prayed that God would lead him in the right way. ‘I started reading the Bible and searched the internet to learn about other religions. Eventually I saw the truth and accepted Jesus with all my heart. Since then, my life has changed.’
Adnan is a Christian in Yemen.
Photo by Laura Peruchi via Unsplash
So, how are your eyes and how is your vision? Perhaps you might like to use this response;
When my world around me feels shaky, may I turn my eyes to God – the eternal One
You may find the following songs/hymns useful; Open our eyes. Lord (Mission Praise 545) Open my eyes that I may see (Mission Praise 544) Mine eyes have seen the glory (Hymns and Psalms 242)
You may find the following prayers useful;
I lift my eyes to you today, O God. Please give me a glimpse of the security I have in you.
O Lord God, in whom we live and move and have our being, open our eyes that we might see your presence with us. Draw our hearts closer to you with the power of your love. Teach us to be anxious about nothing when all we have is in you. Lift our hearts up to you in heaven and give us vision to accept that all things are possible with you through your Son our Redeemer.
God bless you