One of our Chinese exchange students went out to visit a friend from his previous year in the States. When he returned home I asked how his visit went and he expressed deep concern for his friend because she appeared, in his words, “to be hiding something behind her eyes.”
Unfamiliar with that phrase, I asked what he meant. He explained that when a person doesn’t look directly at you or shifts her eyes as you speak, it appears that she is feeling bad or ashamed of something. He said, “I knew something is not right with her from her eyes.”
I thought I knew what he meant. She’s hiding something or being deceitful. But there’s something deeper about the notion of hiding something behind her eyes.
I thought about Jesus’ words, “Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is full of light, but when it is bad, your body is full of darkness” (Luke 11:34).
- Eve was drawn to the forbidden fruit after “she saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eyes and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it” (Genesis 3:6).
- When a man named Achan hindered Israel by sinning, his confession exposed the path of temptation: “When I saw in the plunder a beautiful robe from Babylonia, two hundred shekels of silver and a wedge of gold weighing fifty shekels, I coveted them and took them.” (Joshua 7:20-21).
- David saw the beautiful woman, sent and inquired about her and finally sent messengers and took her (II Samuel 11).
- Jesus emphasized the power of sight to cultivate a heart for evil when he said, “…I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart (Matthew 5:28).
- The godly servant Job said, “I made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a girl (Job 31:1).
- Jesus spoke in radical terms, “…if your right eye offends you, pluck it out” (Matthew 5:29). Although not intended literally, Jesus advocated dealing decisively with the source of evil — the eye.
The eye allows light or darkness in and, upon entering, one’s whole body is filled with either light or darkness. Healthy eyes reveal a body full of light; bad eyes show fullness of darkness. Whatever is on the inside shows through the eyes.
Our exchange student wisely sensed that his friend was hiding something behind her eyes. Upon inquiring, he learned that life had turned in a bad direction for her. Although she didn’t volunteer this information without probing on his part, what she hid behind her eyes said enough. Perhaps this tells us that we should listen with our ears and with our eyes.