When mom was getting ready to go out somewhere she would inevitably ask dad, “How do I look?” With a peck on her cheek he would answer, “You always look beautiful to me.” Recently a young man preparing to start a ranching life with his young bride was asked when he thought she was the most beautiful. “When she is operating machinery,” he responded quickly. Now both these men were very wise. Their answers were not going to get them in trouble. Even though we know the truth about how we look at any time, we women always respond to a man’s compliment. It was just the same when mom was straightening dad’s tie and giving him an appraising eye before she sent him out the door to teach each morning, with love in her eyes and a peck on his cheek.
Maybe I have been thinking about the line “seeing with the eyes of love” because I’ve been traveling of late in places where the milling throngs are representative of everywhere in the world. I was amazed at how seldom I saw anger or frustration or heard heated words whatever language. People were hot and tired. You could tell by looking at their faces. But even when dealing with tired or fussy children there was an incredible amount of patience.
We took turns standing patiently and quietly in rest room lines and food lines. We offered to take pictures of each other so you had a group shot for your album. If someone dropped something, someone picked it up so you wouldn’t lose it. If you caught someone’s eye you smiled. The day after the Orlando shootings we were sitting in a hotel lobby with many others eating breakfast. All eyes were on the television and the horrific shots from the carnage. People spoke quietly while others read the newspaper headlines that lay scattered around the lobby. As we continued traveling we soon noticed the many flags at half staff and also graffiti comments remembering the fallen. As in other times in America’s history, when tragedies occur, we seemed to be as one.
Seeing “with the eyes of love”. I watched a group of Japanese tourists help one of their own, a disabled young woman. I saw seniors pushed in wheel chairs or walking with children or grand children or with walkers and no one pushed them aside or bumped them if it was possible. The same care was taken of young parents with small children. The watchword seemed to be “No rush.” As I was descending a couple of stairs I stumbled slightly and immediately an older gentleman shot out his hand to grab my arm and let me lean on him for an instant before we both moved on. Chivalry is not dead!
Seeing “with the eyes of love” is a way of living life not just an occasional thing. No one is too old or too young or too poor or too rich. St. Paul says, “There is neither male nor female, slave nor free, Jew nor Greek, but all are one in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Seeing “with the eyes of love” was in evidence all around me. It was seeping into my bones. It was very good.