“The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness! – Matthew 6:22-23 NIV
Tuesday I spent a lot of time with my mum at the eye specialist’s office. Actually, over the past couple of weeks it has been three offices: the optometrist, the retina specialist, and then the ophthalmologist to talk about cataract surgery.
A cataract is, essentially, a dense, cloudy area in the lens of the eye, caused by clumps of proteins that prevent the lens from sending clear images to the retina. Pretty much everyone is likely to develop cataracts if they live long enough.
My mum’s situation is complex, and we’re not sure how to proceed. But the whole subject of vision, and how our eyes work, is fascinating.
Windows for the Light:
Jesus of course uses the concept of “seeing” a lot in his teaching. I especially love the scripture above (Matthew 6:22-23) in the way it brings light into the conversation. Light – both clarity and energy – is one of the most effective ways to describe who Jesus is, and especially his invitation for us to live as the spiritual beings that we are.
Writer/pastor/wordsmith/commentator Eugene Peterson captures all of this beautifully in his paraphrase of the passage. Read this out loud:
Jesus said, “Your eyes are windows into your body. If you open your eyes wide in wonder and belief, your body fills up with light. If you live squinty-eyed in greed and distrust, your body is a musty cellar. If you pull the blinds on your windows, what a dark life you will have!”
Thinking about this cataract situation makes me wonder what creates the cloudy areas in our vision? I wonder what are our spiritual cataracts made of?
It is important to note here that I reject the notion of separation between our “life”, and our “spiritual life”. No, we simply have a life; and the question remains, how much light do we allow in?
Remember that light is associated not only with clarity but with energy! So what Jesus invites us into is not only increased clarity but the energy (power, fuel, vitality, intensity, moxie, verve…) to live with the kind of fulness God intends.
So much fits the role of cataract, keeping light and energy out: mistrust, cynicism, hate, selfishness, anger, deceit, fear, and more…
Jesus is the light that eradicates all this.
This is a good time to review my beginning of the year post – “For 2021 I Choose Light and Promise.” This is what Jesus wants us to let in. “Your eyes are windows into your body. If you open your eyes wide in wonder and belief, your body fills up with light.”
Because of light, and because I believe in the promise – DEREK
Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), and there’s always something new in the works.
Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.
Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men’s Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.