Your eye is the lamp of your body. If your eye is healthy, your whole body is full of light; but if it is not healthy, your body is full of darkness. (Luke 11:32 NRS)
Hear the Story
Judy lived in a stylish Coconut Grove apartment. Her life was half fantasy and half nightmare. She was a successful and respected secretary. She jogged. She hosted parties. She wore designer clothes and her apartment overlooked the bay, but she lived with her eyes shut; she didn't know any other way to live.
On the outside, she was the image of success and happiness. On the inside, she felt desperately alone and lost. Only her diary knew her pain. She had people all around her, but few friends. "I've missed something, somewhere," she wrote, "I feel old, unloved, unwanted, abandoned, used up. I want to cry and sleep forever."
Judy's heart died of loneliness long before that June day years ago when she was stabbed to death.
She wasn't a prostitute. She wasn't a druggie. She never spent a night in jail. She wasn't a social outcast. Her life lasted 38 years, but she never really lived it.
Judy's death caused a national outcry, but her story is repeated everyday right in front of our eyes. She kept her eyes closed and never found love or faith. Her unlived life is more of an indictment on us even more than her tragic death.
She didn't see love and therefore didn't know what it was — she knew the words, but she never really experienced them.
We are saddened by her senseless death and indicted by her empty life.
Find the Story
Ask: "How can you tell if a person is lonely? How do you help a lonely person see beyond words? How do we show people how to love, how to believe?
Be the Story
Christmas is the time to be the story. Give meaning to the words. Listen for the hidden cries of loneliness. Ask God to open your eyes to see what he sees. Keep your calendar free of clutter, write notes and cards with personal words, call people you haven't been in contact with recently, stop to talk to people looking them in the eye. Show love. Be the gift.
A Word from Ron
Don Miller, author of Blue Like Jazz, has expressed it this way: "Sometimes you have to watch somebody love something before you can love it yourself." I think faith is like that. We have to see faith in others, before you can see faith in ourselves. The struggle for us all is to keep our eyes open, to see beyond the words.
Closed eyes leave us feeling alone and abandoned and unwanted. We can be people of great power and prestige, but if our eyes are closed, the adventure stops and we find ourselves trapped in a prison of fear and emptiness. So we hide the truth; we pretend. We fake it in front of others and endure it at home. Then we die.
Jesus always had his eyes open. He could see love and faith and hope in people, before they could see it in themselves. He knew how to show up in their lives. He lived to set the captives free. He kept his eyes open.
I want to be like that.