During the beginning stages of Landmark Journey Ministries, I struggled at times with attacks of anxiety. There were many causes, but I'll never forgot one of the surprising solutions.
It was all in the eyes.
During one of those anxious days, I went to have coffee with an older man who had been such an encouragement to me. When we greeted each other, he put both hands on my shoulders, looked into my eyes, and asked, "It's so good to see you." We then talked about our lives as my eyes continued to lock in on his at moments. But somewhere during the conversation, I became aware that my anxiety was lessening, and by then end of our time, it had just vaporized. Instead of anxiety, I felt I had been heard and loved by my friend.
I was all in his eyes.
Feeling heard and loved by others is so critical to our emotional health, but this experience is also woven into the fabric of the gospel. In fact, it's the whole point of the gospel. The older theologians called it the beatific vision. Paul spoke of it this way: "But now He has reconciled you by Christ's physical body through death to present you holy in His sight, without blemish and free from accusation" (Col. 1:22). There it is—in God's sight, in His eyes, we are perfectly holy. There is nothing left to separate us from His love. We are perfect and cleared from all charges. In that love we are sustained, guided, nourished, and comforted, but most of all we are known and heard.
One day, our eyes will fully see His eyes of love for us, but for now we can all start to glimpse that experience. We can enter prayer knowing that we are heard. We can walk through the day aware that His eyes are upon us. We can approach Jesus in our minds and imaginations, seeing Him seeing us. We can allow ourselves to "waste time" in His presence, enjoying His enjoyment of us as His sons and daughters. This posture is not just the remedy for anxiety, fear, and loneliness, but for something far greater, an answer to the aching disconnection in the human soul. Ultimately, we all long for union with God. To be seen and loved in His eyes moves us tenaciously toward that union.
It truly is all in the eyes.