loving with tongues or eyes?

Uncategorized Mar 17, 2021

“With my mouth I will make known your faithfulness to all generations.”  Psalm 89:1

I operate as if loving someone involves only my mouth…that if I can say the right thing, they will know that they are loved.  But the Biblical writer James talks about the tongue as untamable, “staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life…full of restless evil.”  In other words, what we say can kill just as surely as it might breathe love into the heart of another. 

What comes out of our mouths too often devolves into criticism or self-centeredness.  Even when we are trying to speak loving words, our listeners (especially family who know what we’re NOT saying!) feel that our words are trying to manipulate a certain reaction from them.  How often have we apologized, and instead of saying, “I’m so sorry I said that,” we say, “I’m sorry you took what I said that way…”  We’ve just maneuvered ourselves back into a position of being “right”.  And we’re not fooling anyone, except maybe ourselves.  

On the other hand, Jesus had a lot to say about the eyes.  In Mark 8:18, Jesus says to his own disciples, “Having eyes do you not see?”  He’s asking them to see the way he sees.  Then they arrive together in Bethsaida and are immediately confronted with a blind man who desperately WANTS to see.  Coincidence?  I think not.  Jesus spits on his eyes, lays his hands on the man and asks, “Do you see anything?”  At first, the man is confused by the men that appear like trees walking.  So, Jesus touches him again, and the man’s sight is restored, “and he saw everything clearly.”  There was a qualitative difference to the way Jesus loved because he could see this man’s desire.  He loved this man with his eyes and his spit and his hands.  But he said very little. 

How can I love someone with words, if I can’t see them the way Jesus does, with the eyes of love?  Of course, my words will fall short.  Only one Word was ever Word enough.  But maybe if I can try to love with my eyes…with my presence more than my persuasion, just maybe I can see and love others the way Jesus sees and loves me.

“Blessed are the people…who walk, O Lord, in the light of your face.”  Psalm 89:15 

Love, Liz

“There are many ways to say, 'I love you'
There are many ways to say, 'I care about you'
Many ways, many ways, many ways to say, 'I love you'

There are many ways to say, 'I love you'
Just by being there when things are sad and scary…
Many ways, many ways, many ways to say, 'I love you'”                                                                                 Fred M. Rogers

 Photo of our spunky granddaughter Charlotte, by Kimberly McFadzean