Jeepers, creepers: I’ve discovered that our peepers are mentioned a lot in the Word of God! Are your eyes wide in disbelief? Look it up in a Bible concordance, and you’ll see what I mean. Some of the verses refer to the eyes of God, but I found quite a few of those ocular oracles that refer directly to us earthly inhabitants; for example:
Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law. (Psalm 199:18; emphasis mine)[i]
[May] the Father of glory give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, … and what is the immeasurable greatness of His power in us who believe. (Ephesians 1:17-19; emphasis mine)
You live in the midst of a rebellious house; they have eyes to see but do not see. (Ezekiel 12:2, NAB; emphasis mine)
So, what’s with all this talk of baby blues (or browns, or greens, or hazels)? It’s been said that the eye is the window to the soul. Most Bible scholars agree that this saying is likely based upon Christ’s “Lamp of the Body” teaching, found in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke.
“Your eye is the lamp of your body; when your eye is sound, your whole body is full of light; but when it is not sound, your body is full of darkness,” (Luke 11:34; emphasis mine).
Our eyes can be wide open to the light, and subsequently shine with the pure light of Christ in our hearts. There is, however, the very real danger of our eyes being penetrated by the darkness, and hence our eyes, and actions, will reveal the darkness within. In reference to the Light, itself, we read these familiar words in the prologue to St. John’s Gospel:
In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. (John 1:4-5)
In this day and age, we must become hyper-vigilant, to keep our eyes “sound” (when the eye is not sound, your body is full of darkness – cf. Luke 11:34). But how do we accomplish this protective task? First and foremost, by exposing our eyes (i.e., minds, souls, hearts) regularly to the Light of Truth, through a dedicated life of faith and regular participation in the sacraments. Habitual reading and study of Scripture is also a must. Jesus, who is THE Word of God made flesh, said, “I am the light of the world; he who follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12).
On the other side of that coin, we must also protect our eyes from the darkness that strives repeatedly, by very cleverly disguised deceit, to overwhelm our “eyes” with darkness. (“You live in the midst of a rebellious house, they have eyes but do not see.”) This defensive effort has become a very difficult task in our modern culture. I consider myself lucky that I didn’t have to worry much about computer and cell phone usage with my daughters. They hardly used the computer in our homeschooling, except for a few simple, educational games we allowed. And cell phones were not mentioned until they had their driver’s licenses, and even then, they were simple flip phones. There was not a lot of peer pressure to expect more. My daughters now have the job of protecting their little ones from a better-armed and more strategically positioned enemy. They’ve chosen a hard line. They got rid of their TVs. They no longer listen to pop music in their homes or cars, and allow very limited (and monitored) viewing of acceptable videos and movies. It’s a tough stance, but the stakes are high.
I don’t blame them. In this day and age, there are so many avenues for the darkness to sneak up on us, it’s maddening. Use of electronic devices and modern media has become a potential place of danger for everyone. We must proceed with extreme caution when accessing web sites and social media platforms. We are watched and targeted with ads, and are often censored for sharing our faith-based views.
But you don’t have to be on social media or streaming movies to be on guard. I have a few classic games I like to play on my iPad. They are innocent entertainment, except for some of the ads (which you’re stuck with if you want the free version). One word game I downloaded ran frequent ads for other games, some of them featuring shapely, lightly clad women doing provocative dance moves. And these were just animations, mind you, but very offensive, nonetheless. I ditched that game.
It might seem like a little thing, but the goal of darkness is to take us just one step at a time, away from the light. We must make a conscious effort of taking steps towards the light, in order to protect the “soundness” of our eyes. They are the open window to our souls, the very heart of who we are in Christ. Sometimes we may need to “close the curtains,” or “pull down the shade,” in order to keep the darkness at bay. At all costs, we must focus, unwavering, on the Light, which enables us to brighten the path for others, and unveil the way to eternal happiness in Christ. Follow the Light, live in the Light, and let the whole world see the glorious glow in your own eyes — that “immeasurable greatness of His power in us who believe.”
Copyright 2019 Charlene Rack
[i] Unless otherwise noted, all Bible references are from The Revised Standard Version, Catholic Edition