May, 2024 – My Father’s Eyes

May, 2024 – My Father’s Eyes

When my oldest son was little, he liked ‘having all his ducks in a row’ – things in their proper place – things identified.  He was only three or four years old when he crawled up on his Papa’s lap, looked right into my Dad’s face and said, “Zachie has green eyes- and Papa has green eyes”.  Zachie was our cat.  I didn’t’ even realize that my son noticed that our cat had green eyes.  But, he did – and now had classified to his satisfaction who had green eyes in the family.

When I was very young, apparently it was mentioned more than once that I looked just like my father – his side of the family.  That was what was in my head I had heard it so many times.  I had his nose, skin coloring, eye-placement and other of his features.  But, one day a couple of ladies walked by our house and meaning me, said, “Doesn’t she look just like her mother?”  Mama was a very attractive woman, but it really upset me.  No! – I looked like my father.  Everyone else had said so.  But that was the day and age when children were seen and not heard.  So I kept my displeasure of the ladies’ words to myself.  Though the older I get, I do see that I’m morphing into my mother’s looks.  But I’m thinking that I favored my Dad and his side of the family enough that when a former school teacher had not seen me in more than fifteen years and forty pounds later, she recognized me – by my eyes!  About the eyes!  I would have loved to have had Daddy’s green eyes.  They were not ‘hazel’ – they did not shift from gray to brown to green – they were green.  Beautiful!  Amazing!  How I would have loved to have had his eye color!

Even more than that, though, I would love to have my Father’s – my Heavenly Father’s eyes!  Eyes that are filled with love and compassion, forgiveness and pity, mercy and grace.  When one looks at me, I would love for that person to see Jesus in me – in my eyes.  It took me a long time to get rid of the judgmental attitude of choosing whom I would love – for whom I would have compassion.  While in the Scripture one day seeing myself for exactly who I was, I was reminded that Jesus died for me!   The apostle Paul said he was the chiefest of sinners.  I ‘disagreed’.  The Word clearly showed me that I was.  That being so, who was I to choose whom I would favor – or not favor?  Christ had looked on this one with such compassion and love that He died (and rose again) – for me!  I began to see others differently – as Jesus would see them – with eternity’s eyes.

For nearly four years I worked at a Rescue Mission.  I found myself sitting on the same piano bench with a child molester trying to teach him some worship song chords.  I served up in the kitchen with those who had been released from prison.  I taught a chapel full of ex-cons, murderers, robbers, drug and alcohol abusers, child molesters (both men and women) worship songs – and just got goose bumps all over listening to them raise their voices to their Creator – and for some, their Savior.   On the first day of the month, I would celebrate all those who would have a birthday that month with a huge decorated cake (and ice cream for those who had a birthday that month).  After lighting the candles, we would shut the lights off – have a brief word from the Word – and then a rousing version of ‘Happy Birthday’.   Each month, there would be those who would file before me as I put a piece of cake on their plate and inevitably, more than one would quietly tell me that that was the first birthday cake they had ever had – or a recognition of ‘their day’.  To them, I became know as their ‘angel’.  God filled me with compassion, mercy, grace and more for these whom Christ loved enough to die for.  Who would I be to not have an agape-love for them?!

Lest you think that I have ‘arrived’ and have this all together, I’m ending this article with full disclosure.  Yes, there are some whom I still find it difficult to love, unconditionally.  Maybe two groups(??)  The first, being those who hurt and abuse the weak and innocent.  And, secondly, I really struggle with those bound in the chains of legalism.  Just so you know, though, much prayer goes into this – to be able to have the love of Jesus’ eyes radiate through mine for even these.  I would still love to have my earthly father’s beautiful green eyes – but pray with me that I will get it right – that when people look at me, I will have my Father’s eyes . . .