A few weeks ago, I quoted lyrics from the soundtrack to my life. One of those is the very popular Brandon Heath song, “Give Me Your Eyes.” I love this song. I cry every single stinkin’ time I hear it! I’m telling you, the more I listen to it, the more it hits home.
While I was in college, I did a lot of flying. That was really the only way to get home for breaks. After college, Brian and I flew out to see each other rather frequently during our year-long engagement. I love flying. I used to love landing in Montreal at night. I love the city lights. I love sitting in airports and people watching. I hardly ever actually read whatever book happens to be in my bag; I just sit and stare at the people and wonder where in the world they’re going and what their stories are. Airports make me contemplative.
I went to New Tribes Bible Institute in Wisconsin since I wanted to study the Bible and I knew the Lord had called me into missions. One of the ways I knew the Lord had called me into missions is that every time I flew, over the city lights of Montreal, Milwaukee, Philadelphia, or wherever I happened to be, I cried. All those lights represented all those people who don’t know the Lord. All those people who had never even heard of the Lord! So lost.
The first time I flew to South America, I was 17. My best friend and I sat staring out our window at the Caribbean and then at Brasil as we passed over. It was gorgeous! When we landed in Quito for our layover, I remember thinking how huge that city was and how, again, it just represents all those people who have never heard the Gospel. It literally makes my heart ache thinking about it.
In Brandon’s powerful song, he sings, “…Give me your eyes for just one second, Give me your eyes so I can see Everything that I keep missin’, Give me your love for humanity, Give me your arms for the brokenhearted the ones that are far beyond my reach, Give me your heart for the ones forgotten, Give me your eyes so I can see…” The beginning of the song, the first verse is: “Looked down from a broken sky Traced out by the city lights My world from a mile high Best seat in the house tonight Touched down on the cold black tile Hold on for the sudden stop Breathe in the familar shock of confusion and chaos. Are those people going somewhere? Why have I never cared?” That’s exactly how I feel every time I fly. All those people. Where in the WORLD are they going? What do those people represent – heartache, loss, pain, illness, death, suicide, abortion, divorce, abuse, orphaned, mistreated… lost.
I told Brian on Sunday (as I sat crying through this song yet again), “I don’t know if I WANT God’s eyes for just one second! Can you imagine what He sees in that second? I know of so much pain in my small circle of people in my life. Why would I want to see the whole world’s pain? Why would I want to know the burden?”
God cares about individuals. That blows my mind! I love teaching children and one thing I love telling them is that God knows how many hairs are on your head. They always look at me like, “yeah right.” I actually had one little boy say once, “But, I had a haircut last night!” He was honestly scared that God would’ve gotten confused about how many hairs are on his head at that moment. God knows the intricate details of everybody’s lives. He keeps our names straight. He keeps our problems straight. He doesn’t say, “Are you the one that was telling me about ___ or was that somebody else? I forget. My memory’s so bad these days, you’ll have to forgive me. I have been doing this for longer than you’ve been alive!” He’s not Santa; no lists for Him. He doesn’t use those memory video games. He doesn’t play Sudoku to keep His mind sharp. He keeps us all straight. He knows us intricately. He shares in our pain, our joy, our sorrow, our laughter, and our tears. Wow.
We are His representatives, though. We do have a certain responsability. I want so badly to “be all things to all people so that I might reach some”, like Paul. I realize that I can’t be everything for everybody or I’ll wear out, but I do need to be more sensitive than I am. I do need to notice when someone is hurting. I do need to notice when I need to shut up and just listen instead of talking over them with my own set of issues. Oh, to have a taste of God’s compassion, kindness, and love. Oh, to be aware of the hurting, the hungry, the lost, and the lonely around me!
If I am God’s ambassador until He calls me home, why is my prayer life not miles longer than it is right now? Why do I pass people by in church that I know are aching just because I don’t “have the time” to truly talk? Why do I think they wouldn’t want to talk to me? Why do I not offer a hug more often? Why do I promise to pray and then forget by Wednesday?
“I’ve been there a million times A couple of million eyes Just moving past me by I swear I never thought that I was wrong Well I want a second glance So give me a second chance To see the way you see the people all alone…”