Stink Eye is a Human Creation
1 Samuel 16:7
But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”
As I was reading a devotional, a thought came to my mind and I wrote it in the margin.
What I see is not what God sees. Give me Your eyes, Lord.
Years ago I had a slip of paper taped to my mirror that said, simply, “Lord, let me see others as You created them.”
The idea of seeing with God’s eyes resonated with me deeply and I ponder it still.
Our human vision is limited by both our physiology and by our attitudes and experiences. We see only the exterior. We make judgments from outward appearances and assumptions.
God sees all. God sees past the window dressing. God sees from the beginning to the end. God sees the innocent baby you were at birth and through all the stages of your life, not merely seeing your behaviors but the entire story.
Every breath, ever tear, every wound, every joy.
We will never be able to see as God sees, but perhaps we can consider deflecting some of our daily distractions to live a kinder more mindful life.
I have begun to let my eyes linger a little longer on those who cross my path. My husband was my first "target." That day I put my tender, but often unspoken, thoughts into words. In addition to sweet words, he also got an extra hug, or two, as well.
The next day my yoga class was delightful. Our first day back after the holidays was extra special. Sixteen elegant, smiling faces lit the room. The air sparkled with their enthusiasm. Their movements were graceful, their breath divine. My heart swelled with love for them and for the opportunity God has given me to be with them each week.
Driving home, it was eyes on the road, but at each stop light I look around. First, at the car behind me. Then, at the car in front of me. And maybe even a quick glance to the right or left, but not so much to be creepy.
Behind me was a mom looking in her rear-view mirror, talking to toddler in a car seat in the back. Or was it a babysitter? Children are always darling at a distance, aren't they? With eyes like God’s, I smiled.
In front of me was a petite person in a ball cap with a cell phone in his/her right hand. When the light changed to green, the driver didn’t move. Although I wasn’t in a hurry, impatience welled up in my chest. The stink eye I was giving the driver could've burned a hold through the headrest. A verbal expression of impatience formed in the back of my throat was just about to issue forth from my lips. Then I thought about God’s eyes. A moment or two later I exhaled wordlessly and relaxed. The distracted driver noticed the light was green and immediately drove on.
Had God been riding shotgun with me, He might’ve commended me for not letting my impatience get the best of me. I imagine that God would've explained the entire life story of the distracted driver and, chastened, I’d be a better person in the end.
So if there is a resolution for the new year, I pray that I might break the habit of putting myself and my to-do list at the head of the line. I need to practice thinking more about and more of others.
Giving them the benefit of the doubt.
Cutting them some slack.
Setting aside preconceived notions.
Loving my neighbor as myself.
That has a nice ring to it.
Lord, help me, please, help me to see others as You created them and to behave accordingly. Amen.