When I was young, my grandfather said something that “intrigued” me.  His words stayed with me and continue to come back time after time.

We were talking about people and how to know what their hearts were like.  As we talked he told me to look in their eyes because their “eyes were the windows to their souls.”

Over the years, I have become an “eye” person.  When I look in someone’s eyes, I can see strength, hurt, shame, perseverance, love, anger, control, determination, etc.  So much is revealed in a glance.

Seeing their eyes helps me know how to encourage them and remind them who they are in Christ.  I can come alongside those areas of hopelessness and, with God’s leading, help them see things differently, finding hope in all things.

I have a friend who prays to operate in a place of humility so the value of another is immediately felt.  She asks the Lord to shine through her eyes so others see His love and are drawn to know what the “secret” of her joy is.  The light that shines out from her eyes creates a “safe place” for them to share information that is precious, difficult and often kept close at hand.  Amazingly, those hidden things are often revealed at a first meeting within a few minutes of the beginning of the conversation.  It does not matter if they meet in a store, on a street or at a gathering.  That’s God’s love shining through!

As I travel and have the opportunity to see many different Christian ministers speak to their communities. While they speak, I look at their eyes. What I am hoping to find is the love of Christ pouring out toward those listening.  I am looking to find how God’s kindness (which brings us to repentance—a.k.a. thinking differently) is revealed and how the minister interacts with the rest of us.

There are many whose eyes show the love of Jesus as they talk, train and encourage.  The kindness of God opens a way for us to find freedom and hope through the insight they share. It creates a connection of encouragement and a bridge that opens a way for deeper relationship with God.  Their vulnerability and wisdom, gained through what they have experienced, reveals the kindness of God and the grace of His leading.

But there are others whose eyes are hard, distant and cold.  They consider themselves above the crowd, telling them what they should know and how they should behave. They portray a distant, angry God; one whose kindness is fickle and reserved only for the elite.  Somehow, the value of anther is trampled underfoot as they scan the crowd: the value of the individual becoming lost in the mindless masses of humanity.

As I experience these different windows of the soul, I take time to do a heart check.  I ask God to show me those places within that need more of His love.  I ask for Him to become so much a part of my make-up I can walk in a place where I seek out the value in others and encourage them.  I ask Him to reveal anywhere that my heart is beginning to harden or become callous to those around me.  My prayer is for His unconditional love to shine through my own windows no matter the circumstance.

If you are a leader, I encourage you to think about what your eyes reveal.  Do they draw people in or do they push them away?  When people look deep into your eyes, do they truly see Jesus?

(photo by 2happy)