Friday, January 14, 2011

Intimacy of the Eyes

Pearl nl: Parels de: Perlen

Image via Wikipedia

There is a level of intimacy and vulnerability communicated with the eyes. It occurs in the moment that a couple is wed and the pastor says, you may now kiss the bride. You can see it in each of their eyes that loving gentle kind connection that bonds each other in intimacy. It would be cool if we could capture that moment in a bottle and keep it cherish it, hold it I think it would be an amazing thing. It is almost as if a moment of eternity is captured in that look. What happens when we stop looking?

There are many reasons for it to happen. Let's face it life is filled with things to do. Got to go to work, got to pick up the kids, got to go to the store, got to take care of the yard, got to wash the dishes, got to cook supper, got to ... Then there is the want to's Want to get a new house, want to get a new car, want to get a new job, want to watch the latest movie, want to go out with friends, want to stay home and relax, want to... Then there are the hurts. Big or small they are the unresolved moments of thoughtlessness, selfishness, neglect, and aggravation. These moments can loom large in our minds. When we hold on to these moments they kill the look of eternal. The look of intimacy is replaced with "if looks could kill."

When we stop looking we loose something of intimacy. The bond is weakened. Consider this story:

There once was a merchant in search of a very fine pearl. He looked round the world in hopes that he would find it. He search high and low near and far. He happened upon this pearl in an obscure market in some far off land. He knew that at that moment he must have that pearl. However, he had a great dilemma; he had spent all of his money in search of this pearl. So he returned home longing to find a way to purchase that pearl. In his minds eye he could see the beauty of the pearl. The opulence of such a magnificent object captured his soul. He noticed (again from memory of it) the way it shimmered in the light like a soft beautiful white dove nesting with her young. Just a glimpse of it would draw you into eternities breath. "Too beautiful" he thought, "too beautiful to be pining away in some way off corner of the world." He determined to find a way to get that pearl.

He looked around for things that he could sell. He sold his car; he cashed out his stocks, and bonds; he took out a personal loan from his family. With money in his hand he set out again to purchase the pearl. He found the pearl just as he had remembered it in the obscure market. He paid the price with just enough money left to cover his trip home.

When he returned home he crafted a special pedestal on which to display the pearl. He found special lighting on it so that it would reveal the milky opalescent perfection that was the great pearl. He then decided to have a party. He invited all of his friends to see this pearl. They were all amazed at his find. Even more amazed at the lengths he went to get the pearl. Some said, "It certainly is a fine pearl, but the cost seems too much." His friends admire the pearl, but only the merchant could really see the pearl and its worth.

Think of it for a moment. The great value that the merchant place on the pearl through the act of looking. Notice how he cherishes it, sacrifices for it, and celebrates it. All from seeing the object of his pleasure. Now imagine that our story takes a turn.

Everyday at first the merchant would give pause to look upon this pearl. He would spend hours, just soaking in the beauty of its luster. As time passed he realize that he needed to get back to work for he was in debt over the pearl and would need to pay these off. He reasoned, "It was certainly worth it!" He very eagerly go to work with thoughts of his beautiful pearl at home. He would even talk about it in the market place. Some people even tried to make deals for him to sell it. He said, "No way it is not for sale. It is my prized possession." He would come home at night exhausted. He would spend some time looking at his pearl saying, "What a fine pearl." After some more time passed he would be caught up with the business of his market place. He was quite the business man and brought in a good income. The more that he experience success the more that he had to spend time to keep the success going. Meanwhile his time with the pearl became less and less. He kept up the care of the pearl for a time. Taking it up regularly to dust it off and polish it. He would replace the light as it burned out.

However, his care began to wane. He would forget to polish it. A dusty layer began to obscure its beauty. He noticed the great pearl less and less. One time he was mindlessly walking and ran into the pedestal in the middle of the room. He thought to himself, "This is a strange place to put a pedestal. It seems like it is really in the way." So he set the pedestal aside. As he did this he cleaned off the dust and adjusted the light to shine on the pearl. He remembered when he first laid eyes on the great pearl. How perfect it seemed. After a few minutes he was snapped back and thought, "I got to get back to work."

The pearl stayed in that place for a long time. The light burned out; the dusty layer returned. The man would notice the pearl out of the corner of his eye occasionally. But over time it became part of the background. The pearl was not greater and no worse than the lamp that used to illumine its beauty. It was like that old book that sat on the shelf beside it. One time that book was read and loved, but now it just sits there waiting to be rediscovered.

Eventually the merchant would pass by the great pearl without a look at all. He would not pay it any attention. It blended into the background of his life. In some ways it became invisible to him. Neglect, busyness, lack of care, what ever it was the Pearl had been cast aside. How? How could such a great pearl, such a wonder that would hold the affection of this merchant be now lying in some obscure corridor without much attention paid to it all?

In short the merchant stopped looking. He failed to appreciate the pearl and eventually lost interest. I wonder how often we loose great things in our lives simply because we stop looking. I encourage you to always look and see the real value of the pearl in your life.

God Bless You

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