Bright lights. Crowded stores. Traffic jams.
Over the upcoming weeks, you’ll find moments of joy and delight, but also sparks of stress and frustration. In all the doing and going, the lists to fulfill, the chores that must be done, the projects that can’t wait any longer, it’s easy to develop a stink eye.
-Toward the checkout person moving at a snail’s pace.
-Toward the driver travelling 15 miles below the speed limit.
-Toward the family member who turns every discussion political.
-Toward the guests who leaves thoughtless, enormous messes.
-Toward the people who refuse to offer to help in the kitchen.
-Toward those who never even bother to say thank you.
Yet this is meant to be a season of soft eyes.
+ As you look on others with compassion.
+ As you search for way to give others a hand up.
+ As you remember all you’ve been given.
+ As you allow your well of gratitude to bubble over.
What are soft eyes? Diana Butler Bass, author of Grateful: The Transformative Power of Giving Thanks, says soft eyes are “the capacity to see widely, to view the whole picture.”
And this is a season for all of us to develop soft eyes.
To remember the checkout person is likely overworked and underpaid.
To remember the slow driver may have a medical condition.
To remember the politically-driven family members is likely afraid and insecure.
To remember the guest who is likely not telling you all that’s going on.
To remember the people who don’t offer to help may be tired, too.
To remember that we all have forgotten to say thank you.
To remember that people everywhere cannot give us what they do no have.
Soft eyes form when we look at others and give them…
the benefit of the doubt.
a secret blessing.
lots of favor.
much needed compassion.
an encouraging word.
As we enter this season of Thanksgiving, Advent, and Christmas, there is so much to give thanks for….
But the thanks will flow more readily if we develop soft eyes.
If you’re looking for a resource to help you develop more gentle eyes, consider Celebrate Wonder and Joy: 25 Devotionals for Advent and Christmas.
In what ways do you long to develop soft eyes?