Friday, November 18, 2011

Windows to Wonder

It has been said that the eyes are the windows to the soul, and great debate about where the saying originated. There seems to be an instinct that we mirror what is truly in our hearts through our eyes. This is probably why we seek face-to-face communication even though we have so many ways to communicate over long distances. We want to see each others souls. But are we really looking?

As we become adults, we seem to think that the way to show maturity is to find fault with the world and to point it out at every opportunity. We seek to hide our souls from others and turn to sarcasm and exclusion instead of good-natured helping-hand inclusive humor. We stop looking into the eyes of others and become uncomfortable with those who look us in the eye. There are even those who train their eyes to tell lies by looking inside of themselves for feelings instead of looking outward to others with compassion.

Many politicians and priests kiss babies and old ladies and shake all outstretched hands, but are they really connecting with all those souls? They spout platitudes about morality and fairness, but are they open about how they apply these values to their own lives? I think not when I see no truth in their eyes.

The first time I ever saw my husband, he appeared very stern and rigid in his demeanor, except when he turned his eyes to my girl friend and her infant son, my godchild. His joyful amazement at the sight of that baby boy radiated from behind his very thick eyeglasses, and I knew he was a man with a gentle soul. Perhaps if he had known how carefully I watch people's eyes, he would have been more guarded.

We went on to become dear friends through interaction with my many young nieces, nephews, and grandchildren. He, being the breadwinner and calming influence and I being the chief cook, diaper changer, and bottle washer. He has continued that sense of wonder and delight in assisting others, but when we lived in a community of mostly retirees, I missed the "little boy" in his eyes that played trucks, trains, and tractors on the floor with the children.

We have moved back to be where his gentle soul can come out to play, and we seek many opportunities to be with the younger people in our lives. I have also had the opportunity to work with him as he shares his "little boy" joy with other men sharing in work on projects. Many see his unbridled excitement and wonder that is evident when a difficult task is shared or mastered as a sign of immaturity, and others never look behind the glasses to see his soul. I see this joyful amazement as the window into the faith "like that of a child." If a person is not able to be delighted by the light of learning in another's eyes, I don't know that they can ever be trusted to bring good into the world.

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