I was fascinated by the symmetrical triangular lines on the back of the leather looking necks, worn there by time and blue collar work in the unforgiving desert sun. I had a considerable amount of time to study those lines, year after year sitting behind a lot of those type of worn necks, bored out of my gourd during church service.
I soon realized that those triangular lines usually had matching triangular lines on the faces as well, although significantly smaller on their patterned, tired faces.
As a child, I imagined those tired eyes were due to age. I’m sure that has a great deal to do with most of it, but as I grew older I thought I could see some regret sprinkled in those tired, watery eyes as well.
I rarely saw joy in the eyes or actions of those men, at least not the way I measured joy at that time in my life. Maybe it was relief hiding in their eyes and actions proven by the fact they were at church, happy within themselves to know the truth before their death?
I remember rubbing the back of my neck with my hands in the hot Arizona sun as a kid, remembering the triangle lines on the back of the old guys. Kids spend time thinking about less than practical things, I was no different.
I had a slight fear as a child to grow up and be one of the old guys with a leather, worn, triangular lined neck with matching sample sized ones on my face. That was me judging them before I knew them. I’ve known some very good men with those lines on their necks and faces.
Even those men who knew God I sensed peace within but lacked the joy I thought should naturally accompany it. Then again, what do I know?
Now, I find myself fascinated with kids who lack wisdom due to their lack of having lived long enough to gather any, try to judge and fit others, especially older people, into the forms they think should be ideal in their world, like I did…
Like most of us, as my time upon this earth increases, I see things just a bit differently. For those of us that know God, our exteriors are a masterful disguise of what lies below the surface. We are the exact opposite of what is perceived by many unknowing eyes.
The same thing is true of our youth or the exact opposite of what appears natural to the eye and a lost world. When we gaze upon youth, we assume a young strong heart with all of it’s potential.
In truth the young heart has emotional bumps and bruises ahead, heartbreak is imminent. Even in the understanding of the lost perishing world, there will be pain, notwithstanding the reality of the wicked and lost world that we share our lives with.
With the wear from time and living in our decaying world, we slowly begin to understand true peace and joy that can only be purchased with time or death. It is in the worn, and a bit battered bodies that our hearts become renewed with the love and understanding of God.
In that same often painful time period, we discover who we are not. All that we thought we knew as kids was speculation. It is in the tough lessons of life that we gain wisdom. In that wisdom God and His sovereignty is revealed to us.
I think to know God and HIs mercy and forgiveness of our shortcomings is to have a tad of regret, remembering in reverence our forgiveness. If that can be spotted in our eyes, that might be a good thing… Maybe the watery eyes is the joy I couldn’t see as a kid?
There is peace and joy understanding God’s truths. I’m not sure now if anyone can know the heart of someone by looking in their eyes except God himself.
I do think that God does sometimes give us a glance into the souls of others through their eyes. I’m not sure what yours show, I hope mine show peace, joy, and thankfulness to the One who designed them.
The leather triangle wear lines beginning to form on the back of my neck?
They’re not so bad, after all…