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In Your Eyes...

In your eyes
The light, the heat
In your eyes
I am complete
In your eyes
I see the doorway to a thousand churches
In your eyes
The resolution of all the fruitless searches
In your eyes
I see the light and the heat
In your eyes
Oh, I want to be that complete
I want to touch the light
The heat I see in your eyes

~ Peter Gabriel

I heard this song today and, as always, it touched me. I have read that, according to Gabriel, these lyrics could refer to either the love between two people, or the relationship between a person and God. The latter is how it seems to me. Singing these lyrics feels like a prayer: O God, in your eyes, I am complete...

The notion of being seen in God's eyes reminds me of a recent entry I read on the WonderCafe, called "Don't Look at Me", about an encounter with a shy little girl at a First Nations feast. Here's an excerpt:

“It seemed to me that she wanted both to be seen and to not be seen. Isn’t that a tension live most days?

We so much want to be seen, truly seen, that the disappointment of not being seen might be unbearable. The little boy or girl in each of us wants to be seen truly, with eyes of unconditional love. We want to be seen as beautiful, worthy, both strong and vulnerable. We wish we could see ourselves that way. We don’t want the eyes of judgment or shame cast upon us. The eyes of others, or our own, that say “Who do you think you are?” or “Behave” or “You are bad” or “…a failure” or “…ugly” or “…stupid” or “…unwelcome.”

I found myself wishing that I had said to my new friend, "Even if I don't look, God sees you - sees that you are beautiful and loved and a joy in God’s heart.” How might it change the world if each of us could take that in? That is one of the reasons, it seems to me, our faith communities are so important. They are, or should be, places where we feel seen. Places where we see in the eyes of our brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles in faith, God looking at us and all creation with love. Places where we hear God’s voice say “I AM looking at you and your song and your heart is beautiful.”

~ David Giuliano (Moderator of the United Church of Canada)

I found his words incredibly moving and filled with truth. I responded that I wholeheartedly agree about the importance of faith communities...we do need places where we are seen as "beautiful, worthy, both strong and vulnerable", and where we see others in the same light of God's love. In our church family, my daughters and I absolutely hear God’s voice say “I AM looking at you and your song and your heart is beautiful.” Because of finding such a place, I am more and more inspired to see others around me through the eyes of love and with the voice of God in my head.

The words In Your Eyes remind me also of this (Celtic?) blessing with which Valerie sometimes ends our worship services:

May the Christ who walks on wounded feet
walk with you on the road,
May the Christ who serves with wounded hands,
stretch out your hands to serve.
May the Christ who loves with a wounded heart
open your hearts to love
May you see the face of Christ in everyone you meet
and may everyone you meet see the face of Christ in you.

Whenever I hear her say the last two lines, I think "yes, in your eyes, I always see the face of Christ"...then I wonder if the same is ever true of me. I'd like to think it's possible, but...I am not at all sure I manage that whole "Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another" (John 13:34) commandment with anywhere near enough grace for anyone to see the face of Christ in me.

I certainly wasn't reflecting his face today when complaining about needing a break from my daughter's moodiness. My poor girl, as if her depression isn't bad enough on its own, nevermind my being irritable and impatient with her on top of it. I want to hug her forever and know that she will be ok. But my spirits are lifted with the knowledge that, even if I am far from a perfect mother, I must be doing something right since both my daughters are so incredibly amazing!! For this knowledge, I thank God, in whose eyes I am complete.

“We all blossom in the presence of one who sees the good in us and who can coax the best out of us."
~ Desmond Tutu

I hope that someday, if I listen long enough to God’s voice say “I AM looking at you and your song and your heart is beautiful", I will truly take that in, the best will be coaxed out of me, the face of Christ will be seen in my eyes.

Comments (6)

Kathy (Trekcapri):

Hi Anne, I love that song by Peter Gabriel, but I think this is the first time that I truly listened.

Thank you so much for posting this entry.

Thanks so much for this beautiful post. You are such an excellent writer. I'd never heard that Peter Gabriel song - I agree that it sounds more like a prayer than a love song.

Your ideas make me think about that Bible verse about hiding your light under a bushel. I think a lot of us are so embarassed by our "icky stuff" that we hide the good stuff too.

And I love your new profile photo! And....42 days! I bet you are so excited!

Anne:

I blush at these kind words :) As I've said before, I'm still a little hesitant about sharing my faith thoughts, so am always glad to know that someone finds them interesting!

Annie - thanks, that photo is from our last staff retreat. I am starting to get quite itchy for Oct 2 to come!!

sandrac:

I've always loved Peter Gabriel, he's an amazing artist in so many mediums.

This is such an interesting piece that you've written. It's so true, that we all want to be seen but sometimes shy away because we're afraid of what others will see. And afraid, perhaps, of what God sees and fearing the worst because as humans, we can't grasp His ability to understand and forgive.

I was thinking about something similar this week, when I was watching a DVD on the history of art by Sister Wendy (highly recommended by Annie!)

Sister Wendy was explaining the fabulous frescos in Florence's Brancacci Chapel, how Eve and Adam are so shamed and drive themselves from the Garden of Eden -- they don't wait for God to expel them -- because they feel they have become so exiled from God, that they can't believe He could see anything good in them. I guess that's the great tragedy of their fall.

I also love your new sidebar photo, you look wonderful!

Anne:

Thanks Sandra. You are so right about us fearing what others will see. But I am discovering that the more I allow myself to feel seen by God, the more willing I become to allow myself to be seen by others. The certainty of God's love is very liberating!

Ooo, the Expulsion in Brancacci is WAY high on my list of must sees during my upcoming visit to Florence. It is a such a wrenching image. I've only seen photos of it, but Masaccio really seems to have captured their anguish. I'll have to check out that DVD, it sounds fascinating!

i stumbled upon your blog, looking for the meaning to the lyrics for "in your eyes." and what comfort and truth these words have brought me today, on a day when i needed to be reminded that i am see, and complete in the eyes of my Father.
thank you.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on August 19, 2008 9:23 PM.

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