Thursday, August 25, 2011


my son Jack


I have lots of favorite things. If I were “Sound of Music’s” Maria, jumping on the bed with the seven Von Trapp children, singing, “These Are a Few of My Favorite Things,” the list would go on and on. One of those very, very favorite things would be looking into the faces of my children. There have been times, I have to admit, when my children have looked at me, and whatever I was about to say to them just goes away –the lecture, the admonition, the counsel…just melts away into complete adoration as I behold their freckled, dimpled, green/blue eyed, smiling faces.

This favorite thing, however, is something I find much more difficult to find now. The tops of my children’s heads are now becoming more familiar to me. Technology has transformed my accessibility to those shining “eyes” to “I’s” . . . I-Pad, I-Phone, I-Pod.

My brother, who is a doctor at Stanford University, commented that there is a new general posture among the students there, as they walk across campus . . . bent over, staring at their I-Phones.

I go to church and people all around me are holding I-Pads. We used to be able to cozy-up to one another, share a hymnal, and join our voices together to sing praises. Now, we sit next to hard, flat, heavy I-Pads, and while our “eyes” used to be fixed upon the speaker, who worked so hard to provide us with an inspired message, we now peruse the scriptures or the planets or other gospel related topics . . . or check e-mail. Eyes down, I-Pads open. Little children can’t help but be distracted by the wealth of possibilities for distraction in the magical I-Pad, the new-age “quiet book.”

We all walk around “hooked up,” or rather “hooked down,” unable to “see” all that is around us that continually testifies, in beautiful ways, that God is all around us . . . especially in the eyes of all the people in our lives, which is the ultimate gift of Life.

I believe the greatest “scientific” discovery that Leonardo Da Vinci made is that the eye is “the window of the soul.”

my daughter Annie's eyes

I wonder if we participated in a worldwide experiment together, we could get our “eyes” back. What if we left our I-Phones and I-Pads in the car whenever we entered a restaurant, or a church, or a movie or anywhere we might have the chance to look into the “windows to the soul” of the person who at that moment in time is our gift from God? These moments are often lost to whoever happens to be on the phone at the time, who is apparently more important than the person standing in front of us. We could discover that the grocery clerk just returned from Hawaii where they celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary or that the teenager working behind the McDonald’s cash register is about to compete in a State tennis tournament. We can create small town familiarity even in a big city.

We, along with the students at Stanford University, could stand up straight again and behold the wonders of the earth – the expansive wonders of God’s gifts – and enjoy, once again, the greatest wonder of all – each other, Eye to Eye.


Katherine said...

I believe in this so much!! I hate my phone now, ha.
Really though, there is nothing more glorious than the honor of looking into someones eyes and connecting to them, even for just a moment. We all, I'm sure, take these moments for granted from time to time. A curable tragedy!!

I love this post.

Anonymous said...

I agree, we should leave such things in our car when we go to church or a restaurant.