Matthew 6:22-23 (RSV) “The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is sound, your whole body will be full of light; but if your eye is not sound, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!”
I once heard a wise saying that goes something like this, “Whenever you’re feeling negative emotions, it is because you have stopped loving.” Or, as I have come to interpret it, whenever we are in a negative state of mind, it is because we have inadvertently disconnected from the source of love—the heart of God.
We don’t always disconnect from God’s love out of willful sin and rebellion. In fact, I often find my disconnects occur in the subtlest of ways. Usually, I’m going along in life, some minor or major event occurs, and suddenly, my perception of life and God has subconsciously shifted. It often takes me a while to recognize that I’m no longer looking at my life and experiences through the lens of God’s infinite love. Little by little, feelings like fear, shame, guilt, condemnation, and worthlessness begin to creep in and darken my inner man. All in all: I have forgotten that I am loved.
When I do become aware of the shift, I can actually feel it in my heart center. It’s as if the window of my heart has closed, and that holy light of love isn’t able to get in. It is reminiscent of Matthew 6:22-23, “The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is sound, your whole body will be full of light; but if your eye is not sound, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!” (RSV). How we “see” the world, shapes our experience.
In Paleo-Hebrew, the letter hei has been linked symbolically to a window. And there are some rich connections linked to this letter and the themes in Matthew 6. Jewish sages explain that hei stands for revelation, expression, and light. Hei is also a letter that unifies the concept of giving and receiving; it is constructed of the Hebrew letter dalet (symbolic of a poor and humble man) and a “foot” of the letter gimel (symbolic of a rich man.)
Furthermore, the number of hei is five (5). In the creation account, the word “light” is mentioned five times. The Torah is compromised of the Five Books of Moses (which are also the first five books of the Christian Bible). Therefore, the sages suggest that the mention of “light” during the creation account hints at how God permeates and animates all of creation with His infinite light, His Word.
Having these concepts in mind, often the key to shifting our focus from a negative mindset to a positive one requires that we open the windows of our hearts so that God’s light can fill our inner man. God’s light is His Word, and His Word is love. When we close off our hearts to receiving love, often it is because we have what I would call a “miserly” perspective of God’s love in a situation. In other words, we unconsciously put limits on His infinite love. When this shift occurs, we need fresh revelation, an “ah-ha” moment where we can see our life through God’s eyes.
Do you perceive God is growing impatient with you? Remind yourself that “love is patient.” When you make a mistake, do you feel like God is mad and frustrated? Do you think He’s adding that mistake to a long list with your name on it? Remind yourself that love “is not easily angered” and “keeps no record of wrongs.” Remind yourself that God abounds in love and generously pours it out upon His beloved children.
When you find yourself feeling disconnected from the Father’s love, pause and remind yourself of what His love looks like. Return to the revelation of love as expressed through God’s Word. Take a moment, to open the window of your heart and let the light in.
1 Corinthians 13:4-5 (NIV) Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.