Playing voyeur to the mess of a flesh wound does not sit comfortably with me. I know my limits. Which is why, when hubby asked, “Wanna look at the photo?”… I declined.
As first aid go-to at his workplace – a primary school – he sees the odd broken bone or gravel rash. No sweat. But I could see that the grisly injury sustained on a schoolboy’s leg – resulting in a trip to the hospital and many stitches – rattled him more than most.
I listened as he explained the wound to a nurse friend. Stirred my tea. Tried not to put pictures to the words: skin, fat, muscle, blood, stitches, pain.
“Are you sure you don’t want to see it?” he looked up at my – surely blanched – face.
My eyes are sensitive to the sun’s glare. Someone once told me it’s because they are light blue – an eye colour native to places that have less hours of sunlight in a typical day. Maybe there’s truth in it.
I think the same could be said of our souls. They are sensitive to darkness because they were born of light.
In the stride from infancy to childhood to adolescence to adulthood and old age, the world desensitises us. Eyes that once turned away, leaked a tear or widened to dinner plates now barely blink.
I’m not talking schoolyard injuries captured on smartphones.
Rather, the barrage of eye-dirt that sullies our view until the light has to squeeze in sideways because the dark has spread like a cataract. Violence, porn, crude humour, crime, perversion… Weird how I feel like a prude listing those things, because everything is permissible, right?
“Everything is permissible – but not everything is beneficial. Everything is permissible – but not everything is constructive,” I read in 1 Corinthians 10:23.
Do you allow your eyes the dalliance of a view less than beneficial or constructive?
Proverbs 4:25-27 says,
“Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you. Make level paths for your feet and take only ways that are firm. Do not swerve to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil.”
They say that the eyes are a window to the soul. Others can look in and see something of your spirit. But if we’re going with the window analogy, then our body must be the house and its windows – glass – are weak points. They are easily penetrated and the weather can blow in.
We shouldn’t underestimate what we consume with our eyes.
Have you ever tried watching the news with a four-year-old? Every second segment I’m covering eyes or ears, attempting to guard his innocence. We just don’t do it anymore.
But what if we treated our souls like this; like a precious child who needed protecting? What if we fed it good things rich in spiritual nutrients? What if we chose to expose it to things of light, so that its own radiance would flare brighter?
We live in a dark world and it’s impossible not to be affected by that. We should be affected, because that’s what prompts change.
But when it comes to the health of our soul; that’s up to us. We direct the film reel that plays in our minds as we’re drifting off to sleep.
“Be careful little eyes what you see…”
First published in The Examiner Newspaper for Keeping the Faith column on Monday August 17, 2015.