The ancient proverb says, “The eyes are a window to the soul.” Scientists and researchers agree: Our eyes reveal a great deal about what’s inside us, both physically and emotionally. For instance, our pupils change size—shrinking or enlarging— in response to our level of interest in a person or subject.
Our eyes are also a way for information to enter our hearts and minds. With our eyes we can observe the glorious beauty of a sunset, and with those same eyes we can watch a horrifying act of violence. The things that we see affect all of our being: “The eye is the lamp of the body; so then if your eye is clear, your whole body will be full of light” (Matt. 6:22).
Scripture often plays with metaphors of seeing and vision and sight to emphasize spiritual truths about belief. Some “see” but don’t, won’t, or cannot believe. Their eyes are blinded to the truth. Indeed, we are blessed when we look upon Jesus and “see” His truth.
Helen Lemmel wrote a well-known hymn about seeing our Savior. Born the daughter of a pastor in 1864 in Wardle, England, Helen came to the United States when she was 12 years old. She became a talented musician and composer, authoring more than 500 hymns, and she taught music at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. In 1922, she wrote the words and music for a beautiful hymn, “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus.” You may know the lyrics: “O soul, are you weary and troubled? No light in the darkness you see? There’s a light for a look at the Savior, and life more abundant and free.”
Helen was inspired to write the hymn after seeing a gospel tract titled “Focused,” based on Hebrews 12:2: “So then, turn your eyes upon Him [Christ]. Look full into His face and you will find that the things of earth will acquire a strange new dimness.”
“I stood still and began to put the words to melody,” she said. The chorus is a good reminder to us today: “Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace.”
What will you focus your eyes, minds, and hearts on today? Will you let this window to your soul get distracted and discouraged? Or will you turn your eyes and heart toward our Savior?