Do You See Me?
Do You See Me?
Eye contact is a complicated language. It can speak love, creepiness, shadiness, self-esteem, confidence, elitism, hurt, kindness or shame. It can be said, “There is in the eye, a tongue that cannot be silenced.” Ultimately, eye contact speaks “I see you.” Such a simple gesture to convey; yet, seems to be a vanishing manner. There are many examples: the arrogant person who looks past you while you are talking; the busy co-worker who cannot stop typing to acknowledge your question; or the shy friend who lacks confidence to give you eye contact.
Why do people feel a need to avoid acknowledging others? In all probability, the most far-reaching reason is technology. We are more interested in “talking” through a screen, than eye to eye. Recently, I was sitting at a meal with a dozen people…every single person was on their phone! I wonder, what has happened to humanity? Our devices are crippling us. We don’t want to be vulnerable to others, so we speak through a screen to prevent any intimate emotion.
As the gesture of eye contact seems to struggle, behaviors that speak “do you see me?” seem to increase. “Do you see me?” is a loud question that we silently speak to others. Culture is modeling a “famous social media mentality.” We have a generation of people who are not feeling noticed in their personal surroundings and are looking to social media to provide that need. This can be noted in a Barna Poll – 26% of teenagers felt they would be “famous” by the age of 25 because of the influence of reality media. The innate desire to be “seen” is so strong; we are seeing people resort to any method possible to achieve this feeling.
Dr. Henry Cloud, author of The Power of the Other, shares about his late brother-in-law Mark, a Navy Seal. Mark had just successfully finished his “hell week” to qualify as a navy seal and is standing on the shore waiting on his buddies. As Mark is looking at the other recruits, he makes eye contact with a recruit that is struggling and about to fail the final test. Mark looks at this recruit and yells “GO!” This recruit would describe this “eye contact” moment as what propelled him to finish as his body was completely shutting down during this last trial. The recruit described it saying, “Something happened. Something beyond him.” He felt a supernatural adrenaline to pass the finish line. He became a Navy Seal. Mark “saw” his friend!
This story is such a beautiful example of how important and vital eye contact still plays in our world today. Looking at someone can ultimately change the script of their life. It can tell the hurting person, “You don’t have to hurt alone.” It can tell the co-worker, “You are appreciated.” It can tell the family member, “You matter.” It can tell the stranger, “You are valuable.” It can tell the customer, “You are appreciated.”
Simple: you slow down. You put your phone away when sharing a meal. You look up from your computer when someone walks into your office. You look up, instead of away, as your walk down the street. It really is simple and it starts with you. You have the ultimate control over this behavior; no one has the right or power to prevent you from speaking connection with your eyes.
You may be an “eye communicator” expert; but wonder if anyone sees you? Or you may lack confidence to give eye contact and need healing from hurts or insecurities. I want to remind you of one whom always “heals and sees you” and He is beautiful! His name is Jesus! Hebrews 12:2 reminds us to keep our eyes on Him, the One who can help us in the race of life. As you keep your eyes on Jesus, He will keep his eyes on you! He will be the friend who yells “GO” to supernaturally resuscitate you back to life!