"The eye is the window to the soul." Most of us have heard that saying before. Yesterday, there was a photo of people wearing different masks that was an advertisement that I received in my email. Something about it caught my attention. For anyone who watched the video I posted the other day, you heard me say that I do not like masks. But as I looked at the photo, the Holy Spirit began to speak and remind me of something.
Matthew 6:21-23 says, "For the eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!" I was reminded of listening to a Hebrew scholar years ago talk about the Ayin tovah. The Ayin tovah, is the goodness from within and it was essentially a way to determine good and bad in the heart of man.
It gave me a new perspective on wearing a mask. One of the reasons I don't like the mask, is not just that I feel as though I can't breath in it, but it's that I can't smile at another person as I pass them in the store. In most cases as I look eye to eye with a stranger, I see and feel the fear that they are feeling and it's very heavy. Rarely have I seen someone smile either through their mask. Psalm 38:10 says, "My heart pounds, my strength fails me; even the light has gone from my eyes." This really is what I sense in most people as I'm out and about.
In the photo, it's clear that the models were smiling. Mostly because that's their job. But as a follower of Jesus, it my job to be a light. Jesus told us in Matthew 5, verses 14-16,"You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven."
I'd like to interpret verse 15 for our current crisis as "Neither do people light a lamp and cover it with a mask." But if I am going to do my part and wear my mask in public, then I am making a promise to allow the light of Jesus within me to shine brighter than ever.
I will close with an except from a website post that I found on the Ayin tovah:
"Ayin tovah is the outlook of faith, hope, and love; it is the Kingdom of God Perspective... Seeing others with ayin tovah helps them believe in their worth, and that, in turn, carries over to the world they inhabit. Living by the principle of charity therefore is a means of repairing our world, inviting the best of each other to be disclosed without fear. It is a message of love and grace to others in our lives: You are important; you are valuable; you matter; your life has eternal significance... Choosing to see the best in others often leads them to see their true worth." (https://hebrew4christians.com/Articles/Good_Eye/Ayin-Tovah.pdf)