Life is Good: I have the power to see things differently!
Music has always been of significance to me. I can remember, as a kid, wearing headphones, sitting in front of my dad's stereo, listening to a new song from the radio over and over until I knew every single word. Then, I'd belt it out like I was in front of a stadium of 20,000 people. I could even hear the applause. And farther back to the age of two, I can see myself standing to the side of the piano while my sister played music from The Carpenters impeccably, encouraging me to sing. Her smile seemed to overflow. (I'm sure it was, from holding back laughter.) You could even say the honks of a recovered, antique church pipe organ were the soundtrack of my teen years---for my mom used hers to awaken me when she thought I had slept in too late on a weekend. (Not passive-aggressive at all, mom!)
The melody, the harmony has always enticed me. As I aged, the delicate recipe of instruments knitting sounds together raised my curiosity. But it must have been the writer in me---even when it hadn't been awakened yet---that made the lyrics reach right in to my heart or my head and not let go.
This summer, our church has only one service on Sunday mornings. Or should I say, one glorious service. Glorious because it begins at 10 AM. That deserves a hallelujah! Oh, how our family loves the slower pace of Sunday mornings in the summer that this 10 AM service provides. Another new piece is a lovely musical addition to our contemplative prayer time. A few generous talents from our congregation sing the (slower arranged) chorus of Michael W. Smith's "Open the Eyes of My Heart Lord" (written by Paul Baloche) over and over while we all have time for silent prayer. Their voices are sweet and pure. And it is a lovely mantra for meditation. My mind becomes a backdrop of crystal blue sky and the words pop out in the shape of fluffy clouds of white cotton candy floating by.
Yesterday afternoon as well as this morning, I kept hearing those sweet words, "open the eyes of my heart, lord...open the eyes of my heart..." and I started to think about what life would be like if each one of us lived and loved like this. What would happen if we looked at each other through the eyes of our hearts? What would happen if we looked through our hearts to see each other? If we looked from our heart into another's heart?
If we used the eyes of our hearts, would we see more clearly? Would colors be brighter? Would everything look like "The Wizard of Oz" in Technicolor? If we used the eyes of our hearts, would we feel more at peace? Or giddy with excitement and love and bliss for all that this world has to offer?
More importantly, if we use the eyes of our hearts, we surely would see better into the hearts of others. We'd surely see that a friend needed a hug instead of a hello or an embrace instead of a hug. We'd see that someone needed a visit--the gift of our time and our attention-- instead of just a passing wave or a quick phone call. We would see that a little child needed to be listened to, truly listened to, so that they could feel confidant and confirmed, secure. We'd see need...emotional, physical, spiritual, time.
If we see with the eyes of our heart, would we show love differently? Would our hearts open up wider? Would we be more accessible, honest, tender? More selfless, more intentional, more inclusive? How might that affect the people in our lives--everyone from our closest family member to the guy behind us in rush hour traffic and the checkout person at the grocery store?
Might we draw conclusions, make inferences and choices, truly "see" differently? The eyes of our heart might see a woman at the grocery store who wishes she could buy organic, but can only afford that Kraft macaroni and cheese that you are turning your nose up to. We might see a man watching our family intently from a park bench because he aches for time spent with his own children who are separated from him instead of seeing prying stares. We might see heartache instead of disturbance, compassion instead of annoyance. The eyes of our heart might see a woman who doesn't wear the latest magazine trends because her nose is stuck in books all of the time. We might see a family who happily chooses time together over careers that afford fancy cars, enormous houses, and the latest everything and anything. The eyes of our hearts might see intention and powerlessness and everything in between. And humanity. Would we be blind to judgment? Would we see truth?
This goes beyond churchgoers or any particular faith. This is a call to the human race. To open the eyes of our hearts so that we might let love spill over onto each other. If you open the eyes of your heart, what will we see? How will you see your world differently? How will we change our world? By seeing through one open, loving heart at a time...