Three years ago, a dear friend who once lived in my city was traveling through my area to visit relatives. I met her at a restaurant in Wisconsin about two hours from my home. She and I had talked on the phone numerous times after she moved to Texas, but we had not seen each other face to face for about four years. When we looked into each other’s eyes that day, we both saw something we had not picked up in our phone conversations.
“You look tired,” she said.
I may have been tired. After all, I was raising two grandchildren since the death of our daughter just four months earlier. Never the less, I had plenty of rest the night before and did not feel particularly tired that day. I think what my friend saw in my eyes was the grief I was carrying. Even though I was smiling and happy to see her once again, when she looked into my eyes, she did not see a smiling soul; she saw grief.
I too saw something in my friend’s eyes that day, which I could not have detected on the phone. It was physical pain. At the time, she was experiencing discomfort in her hip, back and legs. She did not know it then, but several years later doctors discovered that her body had rejected her artificial hip, which resulted in a serious infection. Eventually, she had four more surgeries to remove the old hip, clean out the infection, place a new hip, and then one more to realign the new hip that went out of joint. She spent eighteen months in pain, going to 17 different doctors before they found the source of it.
After years of caring for my daughter, who suffered from bipolar disorder, I became really good at discerning what was happening in her soul by looking into her eyes. Some days it was the “deer in the spotlight” look of fear and terror. Sometimes, her eyes had a mischievous twinkle, which made me wonder what the fallout would be when she put that thought into action. Some days it was a sad, “I can’t do this anymore” look. Other times when I looked into her eyes I saw a truly happy, thankful, and relaxed soul.
What are others seeing in your eyes today?
“The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light.” Matthew 6:22.