As a young boy growing up, I learned how to cross my eyes. I suppose every child has done that at some point. I would cross the baby blues and hear my parents say, "Stop that! Your eyes are gonna stick that way!" This warning would often curtail my penchant for crossing my eyes, but every so often I would still sneak an eye-crossing moment. Well, many years have passed and my eyes seem fine. I have no repercussions from my childhood disobedience. Fact of the matter is, I would not want to walk around the rest of my days with crossed eyes. Why would I have willingly done the very thing mom and dad told me not to? Good question. Sorry mom, I just had to.....
Last night at choir practice, we were in the midst of rehearsing a song that talks of Jesus being born and the joy that comes with that event. While the music has a minor (off-key) sound to it, the lyrics are expressing great joy! Our director, midway through the song, stopped us and educated us on our singing presence. We were singing the song as though someone had just died. Our faces did not reflect the hope found in the lyrics we were singing. Admittedly, we were focused on getting the words right and hitting the proper notes, but still.... we were in danger of having our gloomy faces stuck that way. Got me to thinking.
Jesus Christ who is the Light of the world, the Living Water, the Way, the Truth, and the Life, has made it possible for believers to walk around everyday with a smile as wide as Niagra Falls. Our joy should gush out of our eyes and mouth with unending praise. Our love toward those around us should be a healing salve. Many times, this reality is covered over by believers walking around with contorted faces and worse still faces of anger and bitterness. Hmmm, how would anyone come to faith in Christ based upon the image of Jesus we portray?
I fear that some faces (hearts) have been injured and jaded by sin and suffering. The ensuing pain has caused those same faces and hearts to reflect a gloom that cannot be overcome with anything. How sad. They are stuck in a negative haze of disappointment. Hope has dwindled and each day adds another layer of gloom. STOP! Jesus can fix it!
Jesus, the reason for Christmas, the reason for hope, the reason for joy said these words of encouragement. Read them with a fresh new perspective that includes a smile as wide as Niagra Falls. No eye crossing now. Ya don't want your eyes to stick that way!!
"If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands
and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be
complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this,
that he lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command."
(John 15:10-14, NIV)