Life is a series of teachable moments,, each one flowing from the last, expanding into the next. Each moment holds a gem of a thought, a jewel of an idea, a precious glimmer of inspiration to light your path.
Unless you’re walking with your eyes closed in which case, no matter how many lights shine or jewels sparkle along the way, you won’t be able to see them lighting the path.
Once upon a time, I walked through life with my eyes closed, tight. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to see the light outside, it was more that I was afraid that maybe there was no light for me. Maybe I was so different from everyone else that not even the light of Love could reach me. Lost in a world of darkness, I dared not risk peering through even the smallest crack to see if there was light beyond.
I thought I was doomed to walk in the dark and didn’t dare risk finding out the truth by opening my eyes, even a little bit.
I was lost.
Very, very lost.
And in that place of darkness, I could not believe the light was out there, beyond the inside of my eyelids, waiting for me, if only I’d open my eyes.
There is a song called, Open the Eyes of My Heart. I heard it for the first time the Sunday after the man who tried to put the ‘final parting’ into the promise to love me ’til death do us part was arrested. My sister had invited me to go to church with her and a girlfriend and I went along — not because I wanted to (I was kinda angry with the Big Guy upstairs and didn’t really want to talk to Him ya’ know?) but I didn’t have any other plans that first Sunday after getting my life back so I went.
On that beautiful Sunday morning in May 2003, I sat in this bright modern church and looked around me and wondered, what’s wrong with these people? Why are they smiling? Why do they look so happy? Don’t they know, I’m dying inside. I’m lost and afraid and I don’t know what to do and the bad man is gone but inside me my heart aches and I know I just got a miracle but what if I can’t do it? What if I can’t fix this mess? What if the miracle-workers made a mistake and the miracle I got was actually destined for someone else and the delivery van came to the wrong life? What if they got me confused with that other person who really, really deserved this miracle?
I was grateful for being alive, well sort of, I was still kinda dark and frozen inside and my thoughts veered into suicidal ideation way too often but I was getting the hang of this being free but man, it was hard to hold onto all the pieces of myself, they were so scattered and broken and cracked I wasn’t sure I’d ever be able to find them all.
And then, that song came on. Open the Eyes of My Heart.
I didn’t hear it at first. At least not the words. But then people started singing all around me and I couldn’t help myself, I started to listen and the words started to find their way into my heart.
And I started to cry.
Tears flowed from my eyes like ice cream melting down the sides of a cone — the warmer it gets, the faster the ice cream melts. The deeper the words flowed, the warmer my heart felt and the faster the tears came.
I kept crying throughout that first Sunday after his arrest. I cried and I cried and I cried.
After the service my sister’s girlfriend asked me if I wanted to have coffee with the Pastor. I didn’t quite get the ‘with the Pastor’ bit so I said yes. I didn’t realize ‘with the Pastor’ meant, ‘with’ the Pastor. Me and him. Just the two of us. No buffer. No distraction. Just me and him. And wouldn’t you know it, the ice cream kept melting.
He asked me if I needed a friend.
I didn’t really trust him. I didn’t really trust anyone actually, but, I am polite and replied, “Doesn’t everyone?”
And he said, “Then why not ask God to be your friend?”
Unfortunately, my politeness does have its limitations. I sputtered into my coffee and replied, a tad sharply. “Yeah? Well some friend he is. Where was he when I needed him?”
I remember that Pastor’s smile. It was warm and gentle and loving and kind and I really really hated it in that moment. (See I still didn’t believe I deserved to be treated with kindness or gentleness or love or anything other than abuse.)
My edginess didn’t bother the man one bit. He continued to smile and gently suggested, “Open your eyes Louise. Look around. It’s a beautiful day. The sun is shining and while you may not know it or feel it or want to accept it, God never let you down. He was the one helping you walk through the dark.”
Don’t you just hate it when someone says something that pierces all your defences and leaves you breathless in the sparkling clarity of their words?
I am not what you’d call, a Believer. But I do know miracles when I see them and I don’t doubt any longer when they happen to me because they’re always shimmering in the light of Love and when the eyes of my heart are open, I feel and know and live in Love.
Open your eyes. If the darkness inside scares you, open your eyes, open your heart, open your mind, open your ears and hands and arms and hold on… to Love.
That song still makes me cry. It also makes me smile and remember — my heart is a loving place. It’s my choice to open my eyes and feel the joy of living in Love.