If you have ever tried to judge the contents of a book simply by looking at the cover, you may have been somewhere into the first couple of chapters only to find what you thought the book may have been about turned out to be something totally not like expected! You may have been very disappointed in your initial "assessment" of the book, even leaving it unread any further just because you weren't interested in it, or it was way too poor of a read. Once I get into the "heart" of the book, and I find what I hoped was contained there is missing, or falls short of what I expected, I usually abandon it, never to pick it up again. What I hoped was a "good read" leaves me a little disillusioned. Sometimes there are things in life that look like they will be a 'good thing', but once we find ourselves in the midst of them, they aren't exactly turning out the way we imagined!
While each of us are definitely not "books", we do "reflect" a certain image or 'cover' to the world by how we conduct ourselves, dress, and what appears on our face. I am often called on the carpet because my face betrays my REAL feelings toward some decision or situation that is evolving. So many people today have become proficient in "putting on a happy face", but deep underneath, they seethe in anger, wallow in disappointment, or are bubbling at high heat with absolute discontent. I am a people-watcher and you can often observe me just watching others. I like to observe how they walk, what they do with their hands, how they posture, where they position themselves in a group, etc. It tells me a lot about that person, but it never tells me the whole story. In fact, to really get to know the individual, I need to study their eyes. Within their eyes, I can often see hurt, fear, folly, or any number of other emotional connections that give me some insight into the individual. That insight either entices me 'into' relationship with them, or it repels me. It isn't that I want to offend them, but it is like I get a short way into the book and find it doesn't 'match' what I hoped to find in the pages within!
Windows to our soul - eyes are windows - and it is quite true if you consider what the eyes 'betray' about an individual. They often betray our true response to a situation quicker than any other part of our being. They also act as the "gateway" by which a whole lot of stuff affects us! What we behold with our eyes often determines our response to the situation.
When I am tired, and maybe even a little beat down by life, my eyes are dull - they don't reflect much life or enthusiasm at that moment. When I am energized from within by the Holy Spirit that resides within, there is a vitality evident in my eyes, despite the physical fatigue my body may feel. I have seen men and women in their last days of struggle with terminal disease, bodies consumed with disease and pain, with eyes aglow with the joy of the Lord. If I only looked at the "cover" of their book, I'd see an entirely different story than what is really contained within the pages of their heart! We often discount a 'good read' by the cover!
We need to become proficient at "reading" what is reflected in the eyes. Even if someone has become proficient at wearing the "masks" of life, simply covering over what is affecting them at the moment, their eyes are visible through the mask! The eyes are a true reflection of what is happening deep within the heart - as we 'read' the eyes, we are gaining insight into the individual's heart. The heart is the seat of our emotions - emotions are affected by much and by their very existence, they motivate or hold us back. Learning to go beyond the "cover" story will allow us to minister to others in ways that only God can do. It will also allow them to minister to us when we aren't willing to put forth the 'true' picture of where we are at that moment in our own life's struggles. Just sayin!