I was watching a movie recently and two of the characters were having a disagreement. They argued back and forth, and then one of them said, “Look me in the eyes and say that!”
The other person refused at first, but the command was repeated with emphasis: “Look me straight in the eyes!”
Finally, the person relented, and the demander said, “I knew it. I knew you were lying.”
The traditional proverb teaches that “Eyes are the windows of the soul.”
When we began holding in-person worship services a few weeks ago, I had a revelation.
After a year of “preaching to the camera” I started catching a new glimpse of this congregation through the windows of your souls. I don’t know if it can be measured independently, but my heart feels a deeper connection with you when we make eye contact. It’s like a radar beam that has detected something within you, and now I know that you’re real.
Don’t get me wrong, Zoom has been a lifesaver! It has allowed us to communicate over long distance, freely and with humor. It has been wonderful to connect a name with a face, and decipher the unique expressions that are elements of our personalities. Zoom has provided an accessible platform that puts us all on equal footing.
What it hasn’t provided however, is eye contact. On Zoom, if I look at your picture, I’m not looking at the camera. If we’re both looking at the camera, neither one of us will see each other’s eyes. I didn’t know how much I missed eye contact until I was preaching in-person and could look directly into the sanctuary. Into your eyes!
Someone said that relationship is like the mortar between the bricks. The grout between the tiles. To that I would add the contacts between the eyes. May we gently share this mutual exchange of light, as we continue to get to know ourselves and each other.
“Could a greater miracle take place than for us to look through each other’s eyes for an instant?” – Henry David Thoreau