My most fervent wish, at this moment, is that someday, the other people who live here will learn to clean up after themselves.I am so very tired of cleaning up other people's stuff. I have almost gotten to the point where I'm ready to just shovel anything that's out of place right into the garbage can; if there's not as much stuff, there can't be as much mess. They're willing: sometimes there's a little grumbling, but for the most part, when I ask one of those other people who live here to clean something up, they'll do it. The problem is, they don't see what I see. I will ask them, for instance, to clean up the living room, and then I'll go off and do something else, like switch a load of laundry or empty the dishwasher--there's always something to do around here. They'll come tell me they're done, and when I go into the living room, there will still be books, pillows, magazines, pieces of the newspaper, small toys, and sometimes food on the living room floor. No, you're not done, I tell them, look at this, and this, and this, I say. I've tried being more specific. I tell them, pick up all of the pillows, books, toys, and everything else that doesn't belong that is in the living room and put it where it belongs. It still doesn't work. They just don't see it.
Today, for our family fun activity, we cleaned. It has been a busy summer, and it has been impossible for me to keep up with the day to day picking up. That's because there is only one of me, and there are three, sometimes four or more, mess makers. And to be quite honest, part of the problem is that when faced with the choice of conquering clutter or having fun with my children, the kids will win out every time. And then, by the end of the day, when there are no more children awake to have fun with, the goal of a clutter-free zone seems completely unattainable, both because of the enormity of the chaos, and because of my extreme lack of energy. Today I finally decided that enough was enough and informed the children that there would be no more fun-having until the clutter-busting jobs on my list were completed.
After our cleaning marathon, while Bubby was napping, and the other two were playing nicely in the basement (no doubt hoping that if they stayed out of my path, under the radar, I wouldn't find any more chores for them to do), I walked into the kitchen to find that there was a disposable camera, two spent batteries, a dirty glass, a magazine, and a cabal of crumbs on the kitchen counter. They did it again. Told me a job, cleaning off the kitchen counters, was finished, when really it wasn't. "How can I get them to see with my eyes?" I thought to myself, "how can I get them to see what I see?"
And in that moment, it was as if God was standing by my side, looking over my shoulder, and saying, "how can I get you to see with my eyes? How can I get you to see what I see?" Whump!
Have you heard the song Give Me Your Eyes, written by Brandon Heath and Jason Ingram? It's been playing non-stop in my head since God stood with me in my kitchen this afternoon.
Look down from a broken skyI wonder just how often God stands in his kitchen shaking his head and wondering how he can get his children to see with his eyes. How he can get us to see everyone, every one, as a precious child of God, and how he can move us to action, to love each one with God's love.
Traced out by the city lights
My world from a mile high
Best seat in the house tonight
Touch down on the cold black top
Hold on for the sudden stop
Breathe in the familiar shock
Of confusion and chaos
All those people going somewhere
Why have I never cared
Give me your eyes for just one second
Give me your eyes so I can see
Everything that I keep missing
Give me your love for humanity
Give me your arms for the broken hearted
The ones that are far beyond my reach
Give me you heart for the ones forgotten
Give me your eyes so I can see
Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah
Step out on a busy street
See a girl and our eyes meet
Does her best to smile at me
To hide what's underneath
There's a man just to her right
Too ashamed to tell his wife
He's out of work, He's buying time
Pre Chorus / Chorus
I've been here a million times
A couple of million eyes
Just move and pass me by
I swear I never thought that I was wrong
I need a second glance
Give me a second chance
To see the way you've seen the people all along
On his website, Mr. Heath says this about Give Me Your Eyes:
"The song was inspired from the idea that every once in a while, God gives us His eyes. You tend to see a lot of different kinds of people in places like airports. Sometimes, usually only for a few moments, I feel like God gives me true compassion for those people around me. I think that the longer I get to know the character of Jesus, the more compassion I personally have for others. 'Give Me Your Eyes' is saying; 'Jesus give me your eyes so that I can see people the way you see people, so I can love people the way you love people.' ... It is one thing to have compassion and quite another to act on it."I still have no idea how to get the other people who live here to see what I see, but tonight it doesn't seem as important. Tonight my prayer is the same as it's been all day, that God would give me his eyes, his love, his arms, his heart, so that God's light can shine through me and pierce the dark places of brokenness, loneliness and hopelessness. I pray that God would use me to heal those precious, broken-hearted ones with his love.