Something to pray for, the opening of the eyes. To see what was previously hidden, to view from a different perspective, to look for meaning, to get a glimpse of the special wonders of this world and the world beyond this one.
To wake up every morning, to open your eyes, is a blessing. To open your eyes to knowledge and wisdom is a privilege and an honor. It is time to look beyond what is on the surface, to delve deeper, maybe even get a little uncomfortable. I invite you to step out of your comfort zone and to look a little closer.
Look past the frenzied pace that may be your morning routine, the blaring alarm, the hurried packing of lunches, the hectic scuttling of little feet racing in the nick of time to the school bus, barely making it. Brush your slightly messy hair out of your eyes, and look with a new perspective. Look across the street, perhaps looking out at you, at the face of a woman watching out of her window. Her home is quiet. It’s clean. It’s peaceful. It is also empty. That insane morning routine that drives you absolutely crazy sometimes? That lady across the street, the one who just moved in and smiles at you when you see each other? She would give absolutely anything to be in your shoes. In fact, her last round of IVF failed. It’s a procedure they told her was her only chance, and she found out just yesterday it failed. Thousands of dollars, thousands of hours wishing, hoping, and nothing. It was a bust. She feels emptiness, empty in her womb, and empty in her heart, and she envies you, the noise that is your life, the slightly messy hair, the jelly stain on your pink robe. She wants it too. All of it. The joy you sometimes take for granted. Open your eyes and see. See what you have, and open your eyes to what blessings you may have been taking for granted. Pray. Pray for her too.
You. Over there. The one who has that look on your face. That look that says, “I don’t want to be here. I hate this job. I hate this place. They don’t pay me near enough. They take me for granted. I wish I could quit.” Yes, you. Open those eyes. Look through the eyes of another. That guy, the one you saw this morning? The one who forgot to say thank you when you held the door open for him, as he rudely, brushed past you, too preoccupied to even nod? Yes, him. Look a little closer. That suit he was wearing? Borrowed. The attitude? Dejected. The hurry he was in? He was late for his bus. You see, he lost his job. His car’s broken down, and he can’t afford to pay the repair bill. He got an eviction notice taped to his door last night. He’s angry. He’s scared. He’s trying, but he has had nothing but a steady stream of no’s. You held the door open for him this morning, he never even saw you. All he saw was another place that told him they were full, that there were no open positions, that they were sorry. That job you hate so much? He would give anything to have it. He’s lost 15 pounds, because the few dollars he has left is for bus fare, and not the donut and coffee you stopped for on the way in to that job that you hate. He counts out quarters for the bus, and has even sold his blood for a few extra dollars. He wants what you have. Work. A paycheck. The stability of knowing that the bills will be paid. The pride that comes from completing an honest day’s work. He wants it so bad that he borrowed a suit for this interview. They still told him no. You see, there are too many of you working there. You know, the you’s that don’t even want to be there. Open your eyes and see. See what you have, and thank God for the blessing of your job. The one that paid for that donut, that pays for that car payment. That pays the bills. Be thankful and pray. Pray for him too.
Then there’s you. The one who’s flirting around at work. Sending messages you have to delete. Saying things you would never say in front of your husband, your wife. Living on the outside, one step closer to doing the thing you promised at one time you’d never do, which is to break your vows. You know, the ones where you promised to honor her? To honor him? Don’t you remember that? You’re bored? Things just aren’t the same anymore? He doesn’t pay attention to you anymore, or she’s just too tired for anything anymore? Just stop and think. Before you take another step out of line, open your eyes. When was the last time you looked into their eyes? That you really saw them? That you told her, your wife, that she was pretty? That you told him, your husband, how cute he is to you? When was the last time you really tried? That you held hands like you used to? That you said “I love you” with your eyes? Don’t you remember how it felt to be in love? The magic of a rapid heartbeat, that first kiss? That spark may have faded, but it’s not out. Ignite it. Try. Open your eyes to what you have, the one you couldn’t wait to come home to, the one who held your hair back when you were sick with the flu last year and thought you’d never stop throwing up. The one who held you when you got that call, the one that told you your mother had passed. Look at him, your husband. Look at her, your wife. Open your eyes to the one that promised you everything, and has been there through it all. Not the one who giggles at your jokes, or the one who looks you up and down at work. Because, honestly, if you got sick tomorrow, like really sick, do you think that person your texting would drop it all for you? Really care about what happened to you down the road? Would they take you to chemo or stick by you when your hair all fell out? No. You know this. Open your eyes to love. The real kind. Excitement may change, but true love changes too. It grows deeper. It grows stronger. And there is always someone, somewhere, out there laying in bed alone, and praying for what you have. The security of a warm body, one that knows every part of them, the good and the bad, laying next to them. The perfect sweetness of a morning kiss goodbye, the perfect hope of someone to share life, secrets, dreams, and goals with. There is always somebody who longs for the simple love that you are about to screw up. Just stop. Open your eyes. Pray. Pray for your marriage. Pray for a rekindled desire. Pray for forgiveness, and pray for the lonely hearts of the rest of the world. Open your eyes to the treasure God gave you. The one you promised everything to. Open your eyes and live with honor.
And then there’s you, sir. Mr. “Maybe Later”. You know, maybe later I’ll pick up my son or daughter and take them to that movie I promised. Maybe later I’ll start paying the child support I owe. Maybe later, I’ll settle down and be the role model I was meant to be. The kind that teaches my child about being a man of my word. That honors my promises. That doesn’t make excuses, or forget. That teaches my child about being a man, or being the kind of man that treats women with respect. Maybe later, I’ll show up on time, and just be your dad. Let me tell you something, Mr. “Maybe Later”. Let me tell you that later never comes before it’s too late. Later never comes before that child outgrows that innocent adoration of you. Before they see you not as the strongest, most amazing man in the world, but as the guy who never kept his promises. That guy who was never there. Open your eyes, man! Open your eyes to that gift you have been blessed with, you know, that little person with two arms and legs that is exactly half of you. That precious child that thinks you are perfect right now. Open your eyes before it is too late. Open your eyes to the men of this world who would give anything to have a child, to provide for a child, to teach a child. The one who wishes they could have one. The one who just might take your place. Open your eyes. Pray. Be a father. Do it before somebody else does it for you. Open your eyes.
I write this tonight, and I can hardly keep my eyes open. I am so tired, but I have this need, as my eyes are closing, to write about opening our eyes. I have to be at work, the job I have, the job that I sometimes do not like, the job that I am blessed with, in just a few hours. My eyes want to close, but I will keep them open just a few minutes longer. I write this because I feel that it’s so important to communicate that we all need to OPEN OUR EYES. That we see the beauty all around us, that we notice the butterflies when we are sad, and remember to say thank you when we are happy. That we ask God to open our eyes to our very own blessings, and that we ask Him to open our eyes to the people that we could be a blessing to. I hope that we can all see the beauty around us, and see through the behaviors of others, and perhaps notice the reasons behind those behaviors. I pray that God opens your very own eyes to something absolutely amazing this week. Something you never noticed before, or something right in front of you that you never thought to notice. I pray that He opens your eyes and allows you to peek at the world through His eyes. That you see the beauty in what you already have. That you stop thinking about what you don’t have, or what you want to have, for now. That you start thinking about what you do have, that you water it, love it, and watch it grow.
When you start taking care of what you have been given, that’s usually about the time God steps in and gives you more.
Good night, God bless and may our eyes be opened,
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Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law.
My son, give me your heart and let your eyes delight in my ways,
Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eyes are healthy, your whole body also is full of light. But when they are unhealthy, your body also is full of darkness.
The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor.
1 Corinthians 3:8
To the person who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness, but to the sinner he gives the task of gathering and storing up wealth to hand it over to the one who pleases God. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.
“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’
Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.