When my mother was dying years ago, I made it a point to try to make her experience one which involved thinking about pleasant things in her life. I had learned some cognitive exercises from a psychologist friend of mine, who had used them with her own her mother who was was dying about a decade before. As my friend did, I made my mother write in a ‘memory book’. It was a simple diary I had bought to chronicle some of the good memories in her life.
The point of the book was to reaffirm the goodness of her life, rekindle happy memories and to reinforce God’s love.
In it, she wrote details such as the names of the nuns which taught her while she was a little girl in a convent school in Italy, names of her friends, pets, favorite foods, etc. I also asked her to write down wishes for each of her children and extended family. In her memories, the topic of God inevitably would come up. Other family members were shy about bringing up the topic of her imminent death, but she was well aware that she was dying and would soon be leaving her physical body and I think that she found the writing, thinking and talking to be spiritually therapeutic.
During one of these conversations, as she lay in her hospice bed, we were talking about heaven. I instinctively and nonchalantly asked her to remember to let us know what color of
God’s eyes were when she got to Heaven. I was trying to make her smile and break the otherwise bleak conversation.
I told her I suspected that God’s eyes were blue, as in the picture of Christ which she was using as a bookmark in the memory book in front of her. I asked her to promise to let us know as soon as she met God face to face. She nodded the nod which she usually provided me, accustomed
to about 50 years of my asking her seemingly peculiar questions.
Months later, after she died, I kept thinking about that exchange. While we all know that God does not have human form, it often helps for us to think in those terms. Of course, God did have a pair of human eyes, as he took the form of a human in Christ. These were the eyes which brought vision and the clarity of truth to a world often troubled and often blind. I don’t think it’s a mere coincidence that much of the gospels makes mention of eyes – the windows to the soul.
Human eyes are blessed and healed in several passages of the New Testament.
I had almost forgotten about the conversation with my mother…till one clear Autumn aftternoon, soon after she died. I was walking under a brilliant blue sky in a nearby park, and there were many people enjoying the sunshine and the rustle of leaves swirling in the wind. There were young people and old people, and people from different backgrounds. There were lovers, babies, friends, parents and children…all reveling in the crisp air. As I looked around at the rainbow of folks enjoying themselves in the park, the answer to my question was painfully obvious.
To my surprise, God eyes were indeed Blue! His eyes are also.. Brown.. and Green…and Gray…as were their skin tones. These colors were all around me that afternoon. God’s eyes
reflected all the brilliant colors which are the beautiful hues and spectrum of our human family. I am now assured that my mother knows this.
For if beauty is in the eye of the beholder, our God has made us a truly wondrous vision. When it is each of our opportunities to meet God face to face and look into his loving eyes, I am sure that we will see this to be very true and find God to be one that reflects each of us.
You can read this and other stories of inspiration by MichaelAngelo Massa, JD @ Patheos.com