Tuesday, November 8, 2011

meeting broken eyes

{via pinterest
i never know what to say to them,

to those men with the dirty clothes and outstretched fingers. to the guitar-toting girls on the median with their cardboard signs and hand-sewn jackets. 

their eyes might be pleading, but i wouldn't know.

because i never look. 

because for some reason, i am ashamed to meet their faces.

 it's not fear i feel.

they're the ones without homes or jobs or money. but i'm the one with a blush of embarrassment and low-ducked head.

i need to learn to look. 

because there are souls behind that filth. 

i remember a little girl me holding her daddy's hand, feeling so self-conscious in my green velvet cape, while my daddy handed red and yellow-arched "dollars" to these men and women with nothing to eat and no place to go. 

even then, i was shamed into silence.

into lowered eyes.

not just here in this country, but across oceans too. 

people with nothing, they frighten me. not because i'm afraid of them...

...but i'm afraid for them, and my heart burns with the shame of having so much.

i measure my shame with theirs and keep a down-turned face.  

these people have so much soul. 

{via pinterest}
sometimes Jesus is in cinnamon apples and warm home hospitality between sisters. 

and sometimes He finds us in the pews and kneeling benches of candlelit cathedrals. 

but sometimes 

He is in the small.
 in the filthy. 
the shamed. 

the dirty beards and faces lined with so much grief and battered old guitars. 

He is in those haunting eyes which i must learn to lift my head to meet with a smile that speaks Jesus to the emptiness. 

because i forget who He is. 

i forget that there is heart there. that every situation is different, and Jesus sits amid the unwashed hands and eyes that i ache to see. 

the eyes that speak volumes that are yet unwritten but should be. there are stories here.

i just need to raise my head 

and meet their eyes. 


  1. "He is in those haunting eyes which i must learn to lift my head to meet with a smile that speaks Jesus to the emptiness."

    Yes, HE is in those haunting eyes and I used to be the one who lowered her eyes or made fun of them in my head for the way they looked. I was scared to look at them because I was afraid I might just glimpse a few of my own flaws and dark places in those faces too.

    I'm so glad to see you lift your eyes too, dear-heart! MUCH LOVE! <3

  2. exactly. yes, yes yes.

    i remember once when i was a little girl i asked my mom if i could give my jelly sandwich to a girl on the side of the road and she said "no." she probably had her good reason, but i've never stopped thinking about her. i do pray for them everyday.

    beautiful post :))
    -jocee <3

  3. I have a very paranoid family, and I have been taught to be afraid of these people because they might actually be a stalker or someone who might hurt me. And what are the odds that is true of the person looking right at me? What about all the other people who need help? And if nothing else they need a hug, and prayer, and somone to tell them about Christ. Any time we pass someone like that, I simply feel guilty.

  4. Hi Rachel, you won one of the Movember giveaways! Congratulations! Can you please send me through your address and I'll give it to the donater asap!

  5. It's a shame we can only see the tattered tents we wear in this world. Sometimes, I think, if we saw behind the curtain of the coiffed woman or the suited gentleman, the sight would make us sick. Wonderful words. :)

  6. beautiful and true. (linking up with you through Emily's today)

  7. this is an excellent post...i love the homeless...i usually try to spend time with them on a weekly basis...they all have stories that are a beautiful part of our quilt...they need love for sure...

  8. amen. i'm with brian. i love the homeless too, and i want to learn from them. i want to look them in the eyes too. thank you for convicting and reminding and believing, friend...

  9. i have lowered my eyes too many times, too. i once offered a half eaten sandwich to a hungry man and then once home i kicked myself for not offering to by him his own and that he had accepted my paltry effort. oh it hurts to see, and yet we see Him in the least. would that i still choose to see Him and be Him, no?

  10. the eye is the gate to the soul... I think we forget the lost have souls... after all, didn't Jesus come for the lost and broken... lovely write and great delivery


I look at you and see all the ways a soul can bruise, and I wish I could sink my hands into your flesh and light lanterns along your spine so you know there's nothing but light when I see you. :: Shinji Moon