THE EYE: THE LAMP OF THE BODY

In my school days, I used to play a game with my friends called the Blindfold Challenge. There are many variants to the game. In one type, one has to chase a friend who would call out the name and then run in a different direction. In another variant, one has to identify objects and name them. In another type, one has to trace one’s way out of the room and reach the spot where the rest of the friends are (it goes without saying that they keep on sneaking from room to room silently). The game is fun! Especially those who are on the running side enjoy it a lot. But for the one who is blindfolded, it gradually begins to feel as if a state of perpetual blindness is creeping in to take a grip. I remember many of my friends used to remove the blindfold out of frustration (even before completing the task) just to get rid of the darkness. And how relieving it felt to be in the presence of light once again!

I’m sure many of you would have played this game as kids! Blindfolds are often used in reality shows on the television when participants are to be given a surprise (either a surprise gift or to welcome a surprise visitor). Have you ever thought why the eyes are the ones which are blindfolded and not any of the other sense organs? The ears, the nose, the tongue, the skin are left to function normally, whereas the eyes are covered, when a person is made to guess/identify/recognize something or somebody. Ever thought why?

In human beings, vision/sight is neurophysiologically, the most dominant sense. Research says that thirty to forty percent of our cerebral cortex is devoted to vision while the other sense organs together make up the rest. Isn’t it now easy to understand why blindfolding is so much made use of?

So tough for those with partial or complete visual impairment!

To add a tinge of humour before delving into some serious lessons, I would like to share something that happened just a few days back. I stepped out of my house in the scorching summer heat around noon, all the while feeling that something was wrong with my eyes – especially with my right eye. All along the way, I was trying to figure out the reason for my blurred vision. The problem was not with my sunglasses. And yes, I had remembered to wear contacts in both the eyes. I closed each eye with my palm by turns and tried seeing through the other. A few times of this exercise and I was sure that my right eye was at fault. Somehow I managed to finish the chores and return home in a few hours. And when I set to remove my contact lenses, the one in the right eye wasn’t there! But, I was sure that I had put it in place. After a little bit of fiddling, I successfully traced and removed the lens from beneath the eye lid!! Though I did smile to myself, I also decided to check and rectify any fault without delay should a similar thing recur in future.

So crucial are our eyes! And, they are placed at just the right position to guide the other important parts of our bodies. That is why the Bible aptly says, “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light.  But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness . . .” 

A lamp lightens the place in the absence of other sources of light. And so, with the help of the light of the lamp one can find his/her way around without much difficulty. In order to get as much light as possible, three things are crucial. Firstly, the lamp has to be placed in a location where the light rays would cover the maximum area. Secondly, the glass/fibre covering of the lamp has to be clean. Thirdly, there has to be a continuous supply of energy to generate light (without which a lamp becomes an useless object).

You may visualize the above three requirements with respect to an oil-lamp or electric lights. Applies just the same!

These three requirements apply to our eyes as well. Our eyes are the natural lamps fitted in our bodies. They serve the body by being windows to the world. The eyes not only help the body to perform its function well, but also help the body as a unit to function normally and usefully with respect to others.

  • Imagine that you had your eyes near your toes. You would then be able to see only the area under your feet. The rest of your body would go berserk without a lack of guidance. Since you and I have had no role in placing our eyes (of the human species) where they are, we just need to thank the Master Designer for His remarkable design. So wonderfully are our eyes lodged that they can see and make seen the maximum.
  • Our roles gain significance in the second requirement, i.e, in keeping our eyes clean. Keeping the eyes clean not only refers to keeping the sclera (the visible white part of the eye) clean, but also to guard the eyes against seeing anything wrong. Here, I would like to mention that our sense organs are crucial gateways to temptation. It is important to keep our eyes externally clean and healthy. Eye exercises are a must. If nothing else, then looking at a stretch of greenery for 10-15 minutes regularly helps ensure good health of the eyes. Any irritation in the eyes, needs to be addressed on an emergency basis. However, once the eyes are clean, what do we see? For the sake of brevity, I will not go on to elaborate the wrongs that the eyes are exposed to, but I sure will leave some food for thought. Deliberately watching things that may be sensually pleasing but are wrong (acts of rage, injustice, sexual perversion, porn) or letting the eyes gaze around lazily and aimlessly – are sure grounds to invite trouble in our lives in the long run.
  • What do we fuel our eyes with? The sclera is just the visible outer covering. It is a protective layer. The mechanism of sight operates when light passes through the cornea and the lens and casts an image on the retina and this information from the retina is sent via optic nerves to other parts of the brain which process the information and allow us to see. If there occurs a disruption in any one stage, vision is affected. In all this, the electrical signals play a crucial role is transmitting to and from different parts of the eyes and the brain. What external signals do we permit our eyes to carry? If we fuel our eyes with sights that are good, healthy and edifying, the signals sent by the brain to other parts of the body will be good, healthy and edifying as well. In certain cases, people are forced to witness what is wrong (for example, a child witnessing the murder of a parent or a husband being forced to watch his wife being raped). These are cases beyond one’s control where the healing touch of God and the comfort of understanding people are needed to come out of it. However, when we decide to deliberately fuel our eyes with all that is destructive and wrong, we prepare grounds for our physical and spiritual destruction. In recent news in India is a couple where the husband has been convicted and jailed for forcing unnatural sex on his wife. Five years of marriage went by smoothly and happily, after which the husband entered into the world of pornography which resulted in his atrocious behaviour. A family shattered!

The eyes indeed are the lamps of the body. They have been placed in the appropriate position by the Creator. Let us resolve to keep them clean and fuel them with supplies of edifying energy!

THE MIRACLE OF MY BIRTH

Some time back, I had watched a programme on television – a story from a book being enacted. It showed a sick man lying on a cot with the doctor examining him. The man’s little son was looking expectantly at the doctor to hear something positive. The doctor removes his stethoscope, shakes his head and says, “Only a miracle can save your father.” The little boy who had already lost his mother is determined to save his father’s life. He empties his piggy bank, counts the money, puts it all in a pouch and sets off. Thinking that MIRACLE is the name of a medicine, he goes to all the chemist stores in his village offering all his money for a bottle of MIRACLE. All the chemists shake their heads saying that they have never heard of this medicine.

With tears of hopelessness running down his cheeks as he is returning homewards, an old man sees him and enquires his plight. On hearing the boy’s sad story, the wise old man smiles and says that he knows where MIRACLE can be got from. The boy’s face lights up and he offers the pouch of money and asks the man to get it for him immediately. Refusing to take the pouch of money, the old man points upwards and says, “it is only God who is capable of DOING MIRACLES.

Any seemingly difficult/impossible thing coming to pass – we label it as a miracle. The dictionary definition of miracle reads thus, “an extraordinary and welcome event that is not explicable by natural or scientific laws and is therefore attributed to a divine agency.” The things that we are able to do, may be with a lot of effort and help from others, are not called miracles, no matter how hard they may seem to be got done. But, those things which are out of our reach altogether and no human aid whatsoever can make it possible – when such things happen, they are miracles!

I call my birth a miracle and my parents testify it so. Expecting a baby for the first time is a novel and joyous experience for any woman. So was it for my mother. When my parents paid a visit to the gynaecologist at the end of my mother’s first trimester, they were in for a shock! The gynaecologist suggested my parents to get the pregnancy terminated as there was no growth and no shape of the foetus – just a mangled mass of flesh.

My parents were heart broken. My mother was inconsolable. As they reached home, they couldn’t gather the courage to decide to terminate the pregnancy. They just prayed that God would guide them as to what to do. Days passed by. Still they could not arrive at any decision. It was then that my father suggested that they go in for a second reference before arriving at a final decision. They went to another gynaecologist for a check-up without sharing with her the previous reports.

The fresh reports came as my parents were waiting with their hearts in their mouths. To their amazement, the gynaecologist went through the reports and said that the foetus is developing well, only that my mother was weak and needed a lot of rest! On hearing that, they shot a volley of queries to the gynaecologist and were satisfied by what she said. They would have had such a relief that evening – I cannot imagine!!

As a living evidence of that miracle, here I am – alive and penning these lines today! Had my parents decided instantly to terminate the pregnancy and had God not led them to seek a second reference, I wouldn’t have seen the light of this world. Whenever I think of this or hear my parents narrate this incident, I remember the Psalmist’s words in the Bible –

“For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;

    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
    when I was made in the secret place,
    when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;

    all the days ordained for me were written in your book
    before one of them came to be.

I wonder how intricately the Master Designer would have given form, shape and breath to that mangled lump of flesh so as to make it whole. It defies human understanding! And in case it was all about just a faulty diagnosis, how wonderfully the Divine Director stopped my parents from taking a hasty decision and in course of time, led them to a second referral. Again, it goes beyond logical comprehension!

Miracles do happen! And it is only God who can work them out – when we rely on Him. When we choose to rely on ourselves and people around, we don’t give God scope to show His magnificence. But, when we turn to God with faith for those impossibilities of our lives, He shows His divine power.

Are you among those who has never experienced a miracle in your life? It’s time you tasted it! Look around you and within you for the most impossible thing in your life. It may be some area in which you are desperate to have a breakthrough, but all doors seem to be locked. Give it into the hands of the Almighty God for whom nothing is impossible – “For with God nothing shall be impossible.” And wait with faith. Do not doubt. “But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.”

Miracles cannot be bought with money or with righteous deeds. Wait on God with faith and you will see the impossibilities of your life turning into possibilities. You will see those tall mountains that cage you from all sides, crumble into heaps of dust thus making the way for beams of exhilarating light to engulf you.

Gear up for a new experience!