“The eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.” (Proverbs 15:3)
People’s eyes are a world, or a void, depending on how you look. They can be the first thing you notice about someone or they can be the two things you avoid in spite of looking their way and seeing everything else about them. Whenever I make a connection with a person, I seek to look them right in the eye. Around ten years ago, I read about making eye contact and how one should do so in the interest of asserting themselves in the world at large. I went out shortly thereafter with this rule: look everyone square in the eye. This didn’t last long. Life became a staring contest when in the course of natural events and spontaneous interactions, I would (literally) look to hold a person’s gaze and to have, as Vanessa Carlton once put it, “[my] vision bore out [theirs]”. I wasn’t doing it to be rude, just to slowly grow (at least this was my thought) my person and my confidence. I was coming on too strong.
Love at a glance
“The Lord is in his holy temple, the Lord’s throne is in Heaven: His eyes behold, His eyelids try, the children of men.” (Psalm 11:4)
Just because God does it doesn’t mean we get to do it. When it says in John (3:17) that “God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world”, we know that God would never look at a person based on the outward indicators of some inward fault or flaw. When we discern, however incompletely, something about someone that’s beneath the surface, best to either look away or ensure that the love of God is shining through our eyes. Life is so short and I feel that, very simply, everyone’s calling is informed in a major way by the twin motions of love and forgiveness. Keeping those things in focus throughout our day, then, is more the order of the day than any posturing and assertiveness shown by simply staring someone down and condemning them.
Look away, look away
“A king that sitteth in the throne of judgment scattereth away all evil with his eyes.” (Proverbs 20:8)
But what about this? The proverb above talks about how with just one look, the king can negate or otherwise disperse and dispel anything bad that would be lurking about. But what does this look like for our life? Our day-in, day-out existence at work or school or what-have-you? God knows. Think about the bad things where you’re at. I’m not talking about demons and monsters and bogeymen, I’m talking about unkindness and complacency and standoffishness. Are you an outgoing, type-A personality? Were you born that way or were you shepherded into it by friends and family who validated that part of you? Maybe you developed it through years of stepping through the erstwhile shyness that you thought was you but wasn’t really. Because, assuming you’re not doing it to draw attention to yourself (if you’re that way, you already know you attract attention to whatever degree, lesser or greater, if I may), that element to your personhood is shining through your eyes all the time. And then, as a standout individual in that place, you get to be the one to ensure that all evil is “[scattered] away”. When Solomon composed the Proverbs, sprinkled throughout is reference to “the king” (see Psalm 72:1). It’s obviously talking about the maxims he learned while enthroned. Here’s the thing though, it doesn’t have to be “the king”. It could be whomever it is (you) in charge of whatever aspect you’re called to affect where you're at. God wants to put you in charge of things if you’re inclined. It’s Him who “worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure.” (Philippians 2:13)
Taking it all in
“Thou holdest mine eyes waking: I am so troubled that I cannot speak.” (Psalm 77:4)
Then there are things that we don’t want to look at. For whatever reason, we’re scared or intimidated or shy. Don’t ever think that the thing of which you’re unwilling to face for whatever reason has to be zeroed in on by way of God daring you. There are things we’re blind to that we are unable to see correctly—or see at all for that matter. God knows this too. He knows how to show us and how to make us see. So long as were looking at him, He’ll open our eyes.