The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy,[c] your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eyes are unhealthy,[d] your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!
I’m not a favorite Bible verse person or one to share quotes from anything other than obscure literature. I read the “good book” less and less, consuming more Eastern philosophy and fictional narratives. I don’t have anything against the Bible – it’s a book with some amazing stories in it, and I believe a lot of them.
But flowery verses popping up on my Facebook wall just makes me gag.
It’s interesting how as I consume more theories, learn Chinese Medicine, and read philosophy-laden literature, when I come back to the Bible, I see new life in it. Christians should probably cross-train more in their reading habits.
“The eye is the lamp of the body” used to be the start of a bland and fearsome paragraph for me. It served as a warning to only look at holy things or else we’d become enveloped in sin. I’m enjoying a shift now. I have been thinking a lot about perspective. With politics at work, a ridiculous election year, and the amount of fixes my home and yard need, it’s really easy to be depressed by all the dirt.
Zooming out, though, doing things like “counting my blessings”, considering at how far we’ve come, enjoying the work I’ve produced, and understanding that I can still help people no matter what happens on the national scene — the picture begins to look a lot different. We’ve taken a plot of land that bordered on junkyard and have turned it into the beginnings of a food forest. Our unit is hospitable now, with pretty colors on the walls and wood floors.
When I look at the good things and spend a few minutes to enjoy what I’ve done, before rushing into the next task, I feel happy, grateful, and like a badass. It’s way different than the overwhelmed and stressed outlook that comes with a piling to-do list. Shifting my eyes from the dirt to the fruit, I feel lucky and blessed.
I’m sure everything Jesus said had many layers to it. It might be that he intended a warning of hellfire and brimstone, and it might be that he was also talking about how we practice our outlook on life.
Instead of diving into the “Is there such thing as absolute truth or is everything relative?” argument, a healthier statement is, “If something is true, it is universal.” Maybe part of why Jesus was such a resounding figure – beyond all the miracles and the giving his life up for his friends thing – was that the things he said showed truth in many ways.