Bloodshot Eyes

Bloodshot Eyes

J. Boyd Nicholson

I don’t think I shall ever forget those eyes! I saw them in Poona, not far from Bombay. We were sauntering in the sun towards the centre of the city, not taking too much notice of anything, since the East had lost some of it’s exotic quality under the influence of the burning sun and the not too exotic aromas. Our attention was suddenly drawn to a cluster of people, who seemed to be more than normally curious. We crossed over to see the centre of their interest.

He was lean, perhaps thirty, perhaps forty years old, it was difficult to tell exactly. He stood astraddle a heavy iron weight, and from his hand there dangled a soft cord. He was calling out that if he could collect one rupee (about thirty cents) he would then lift the weight. “Not much to that”, I thought, “that weight is just a tidy one-arm lift” … He managed to collect his rupee in small coins … and then I saw what he was going to do. He was about to lift the weight right enough, but with HIS EYEBALLS!

The piece of rope he had in his hand had two metal suction cups on the ends. He passed this rope under the handle of the iron weight and with studied showmanship, licked the suction cups, lifted his eyelids, and gently pressed the cups against his eyes until they were firmly in position.

He was stooped over now and with much groaning and hard breathing, he began to lift the weight. Slowly it left the ground until it was dangling a good twelve inches in the air. “An utter fake, it just can’t be done,” I thought, but there it was right in front of my eyes. If I doubted him, my doubts soon fled when I saw those eyes. He lowered the weight to the ground and removed the cups from his eyes and looked up. Blood red they were! Not a speck of white remained, just blood red … and all for one miserable rupee! “What foolishness, ruining his eyes for such paltry returns,” I thought.

Yes! but I wonder if I am not just as foolish. For the doubtful benefits of a fleeting present moment, I allow “weights” in my life to so easily beset me. Weights that not only impede my progress but that also affect my vision.

Today, we live in a world that is reaching for the moon. Gigantic telescopes are piercing the far distances. Scientists envision things today that the minds of men have never before encompassed.

In the meantime, so many of us who profess to possess eternal life, have lowered our gaze until our horizon barely extends beyond the limits of our own tiny orbit. The weights of circumstances and unprofitable pastimes (not necessarily sinful in themselves) have pulled our vision inwards until the happenings of an hour are of greater moment to us than the Plan of the Ages. We seem to have lost sight of the fact that outside there is a world filled with breaking hearts that groan for the very comforts that you and I could carry to them, and at this very moment the silent tear is coursing down the drawn face of many a weary saint. While we tangle with the trivial, there are multitudes who have never tasted the sweetness of the comforts of Christ. Little wonder the Lord left this stirring word on the Sacred page, “LIFT UP YOUR EYES AND LOOK …”

If I take one long, clear, sane look, out … out beyond the microcosm of my tiny experience, on a confused and reeling world filled with hearts hungering for they know not what, and if this look leaves me cold and unmoved, then it is time for some mighty heartsearchings in the presence of the God who so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.