Eyes wide open

Published 10:11 pm Wednesday, August 15, 2018

By QuaWanna Bannarbie

When I was a young girl, my grandmother once described me as having “old eyes.” At 82 years old, she still calls me “Daisy Mae.” That is the name she gave me, and it stuck. In my 20s, my pastor’s wife made a similar comment, referring to me as having “wise, wide eyes.” I always figured that these ladies just caught me watching people from time to time. I do that quite a bit.

It may seem rather contradictory that an extrovert like myself would have this propensity for watching and observing. I have learned over the years that this art of awareness serves my ENFJ personality by perceiving life differently. ENFJ is the teacher personality. I see with my eyes what nature, relationships, change and expression register to my brain as teachable inference regarding the life around me. Sometimes, when I share what I see outwardly as what my vision has taught me inwardly, it is regarded as wisdom. Wise may be too strong an assessment. I would rather say that my eyes are just wide open.

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I never made much of the way I observe until back in 2008 when I was given a revelation about the working of the eyes. I shared a message titled, “I Can’t Believe What I Am Seeing.” Before that audience, I described the natural function of the eye. Light enters the eye through the cornea, which magnifies our pupil, a small dark area in the center of our eye. The light passes to the retina through the pupil so that the image we are viewing is projected to the retina on the back of the eye near the optic nerve. But the image on the retina is an inverted and smaller image than the one we see. So, the job of the optic nerve is to send the image to our brain to turn it right side up so that we see a true picture of what is in front of the eye. I understood this to mean that we see with our brain and not entirely with our eyes.

Normal, healthy human pupils have a diameter of about 3-4 millimeters in normal lighting. The narrowing of the pupil results in greater focal range. Your eyes can see farther.
That’s the natural picture of what is happening. Apply spiritual knowledge to this same understanding of the eyes and relate it to your spiritual perception. Psalm 119:130 says “the entrance of thy words giveth light; It gives understanding to the simple.”
If the light is dim, our vision is dim, our judgment is dim, and we are walking down paths that seem right, but we are walking down paths unaware of our destiny and our place in this world.

The young people have a saying today that refers to being aware as “woke.” The origination of this word’s use in slang may have negative connotation as it refers to racism, class systems and hatred. May I encourage you to pull away from the slang and Urban Dictionary use for a moment and just listen to the transitive verb meaning that suggests arousing conscious interest. The youth are on to something.

It is time to see things not as they seem but with wise, wide eyes. I mentioned last week that the bird’s building of the nest impressed me not so much because she was persistent but because her actions demonstrated that she was keenly aware of the time in her life. Are you aware of the time? There have been changes, movements and upgrades happening all around our community for several months. Isaiah 43:19 says “Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?” I submit to you that you will not see it with the natural eye. It is time to sharpen your ability to perceive. We must read more. We must get around wise people and more often. We must take more active roles in sharing what we perceive. We need to stimulate the people around us and arouse their conscious interest with truth and relevant testimony to encourage growth and deliverance from lower standards of living.

Grandma may call me “Daisy Mae” referring to my gaze on the things around me. Today, I am grateful that she never stopped reminding me that my eyes have a purpose not just to view but to reveal. I was never in a daze. It was necessary that I sharpen my focus so that my eyes work as they should, allowing the light to come into them. Your eyes have the same purpose.

QuaWanna Bannarbie is an adjunct professor of nonprofit leadership and management with Indiana Wesleyan University, National and Global. Her children attend Suffolk Public Schools. Connect with her via Twitter @QNikki_Notes.