Richard Peck’s novel A Year Down Yonder is set during the Great Depression. Fifteen-year-old Mary Alice is sent downstate to live with Grandma Dowdel while Ma and Pa scratch out a living in Chicago. Problem is, Mary Alice’s grandma is tough as nails.
Turns out, though, that Grandma Dowdel’s crusty exterior hides a tender wisdom that allows her to see her granddaughter with the “eyes in the back of her heart.”
It’s a poignant phrase, isn’t it? The eyes in our head gather essential information. But the eyes of our heart grasp what is hidden.
The apostle Paul had something to say about the eyes of our heart too. In his letter to the saints in Ephesus, Paul describes the invisible riches we have in Christ. And then Paul prays for his readers: “. . . that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe” (Ephesians 1:18,19).
Through Baptism and the Word, the Holy Spirit has pried open our spiritual eyes. The merest squint reveals the search beam of Jesus’ love. But let’s not be satisfied with a peek. Let’s make it our life’s ambition to open wide the eyes of our heart, to know God better. Let’s linger over his Word, the better to see what is invisible: A call to hope. A heavenly inheritance. God’s power.
What a wonderful view.