Eye to Eye

me1Even in the most joyous of times, the world can drain a soul. Confusion breeds confusion and I question my mind into tangles. With quiet intention, I scan my life, looking to each set of eyes, hoping for answers.

In the first I see only darkness. Faint circles hang beneath eyes that would be lovely were they not so hollow. They sit in a face of skin that has grown gray and gaunt wanting flesh to soften the harsh lines of cynicism. She is bitter. She is cold. I try to make sense of her words but she speaks only perversion so there is no sense to be made of it. Any comfort I try to offer is promptly rejected, so we sit in silence. I stare longer than I should as her brokenness brings me down. Finally she goes away. Still stung by her envy, I search for another pair of eyes.

With great determination, I move along.

The next eyes are blue, bright yet sad. They are hopeful but they are weary. Tiny pupils filled with fear wishing to be brave. Cheeks rosy, lashes long. A face much prettier than its owner knows. There are moments bright and beautiful
before her, smiles so shining and new, but to her they are
tainted by the clinging past and daunting future.
me1 - Version 2Loved ones gather around her table warmed by a meal she prepares, but she misses the joy in their laughter as she questions if she got the spices just right. I tell her the food is perfection; she tells me I am wrong. Her dearest calls her lovely but she does not hear him as she wonders what everyone in the room thinks of her. Another flicker of fear lights her eyes and I do not want to look anymore.

I welcome the next eyes for they are familiar and kind. Gray like the skies they were raised under and the sea they grew up beside. He talks while the rest of us listen, smoke in the air by a tree I used to climb. Wisdom walks boldly from a soul that has seen much more than mine. Still, he always speaks plainly, eyes growing humbler with the passing of time. For every betrayal, I see no bitterness. Both pupil and iris are steadfast and grateful, fully loving of life. For every hurt I’ve had, he’s hurt more and every sin I’ve forgiven, he’s forgiven double. When asked how he loves the hateful when they hurt without having the right, he says, “Hurt people hurt people, so be understanding and always be kind.”

My grace may wear thin to the hurtful, but I’ll heal in a matter of time, for as I watch him loving the hateful, he builds up the grace in my eyes.


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The Flawless Fallen

My face: I don’t like it. I dislike it almost as much as my height or my weight or my inability to say what I must when I must.

At least that used to be my mindset.

This is my face, a very artistically skewed representation… but still, my face.

Self Portrait in Pastel

My mother has always said that her teeth are too big. Obviously, this is not the case. Her teeth are the perfect size. If it weren’t for those teeth, her smile wouldn’t be quite so big. It wouldn’t reflect all the joy she carries inside.

And my mother isn’t the only one who is lovely when she doesn’t know it. Pretty much any person in front of me is bound to be observed and thought of as something remarkable.

That boy across from me at the coffee shop? One of his eyes squints ever-so-slightly more than the other when he smiles. That makes me smile too.

That little girl who just tumbled off of her spot during the christmas program? She was focusing really hard on trying to find her grandmother who is sitting in the third row. This thought makes me want to hug the little girl even more than when I first met her.

It is almost unavoidable for me to see that my mother and the brown-eyed boy at the coffee shop and the toppling girl at the Christmas program and so many others are irrevocably inarguably beautiful.

It is not that they are without fault. They are fallen. We live in a world that runs ramped with sin. There are mouths that lie, hearts that hate, minds that plot evil and hands that kill. But a gracious God offers redemption.  And that perfect God created everything. Each rock. Each tree. Each field mouse. And each person.

This perfect God does not make mistakes. So when He formed the strands of DNA in any given individual, He did not make a single mistake. That person is flawless. That person bears the personality and physical traits that God intended.

People are fallen. But they are not flawed.

God does not make mistakes.

I am no exception. And neither are you.