My grandmother, Bertha King, would say to each of her five grandchildren, individually, of course, “I love you like the apple of my eye.” It was not until I was a young woman that I understood the meaning of this statement, as well as realizing that she made such a declaration to every one of the five.
“Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings…..”Psalm 17:8 King David knew God’s eye was upon him, chosen to be King, and yet he was hiding and running and hunted. He did not doubt the purpose and plan for his life. He understood that God would protect him just as surely as one would guard their own precious sight.
This is a beautiful picture of how God loves His children...a picture of the way we want to be as a parent and as a representative of God to others. The “apple of your eye” is found in several scriptures and states that God will keep us, “as the apple of His eye.” The word, “pupil”, is the same word for apple in Latin and was used to describe what was thought to be a solid apple-shaped body in the eye. Because it is so essential to sight, the eye’s apple, or pupil, is to be cherished and protected. “The apple of one’s eye’ came to mean anything extremely precious.
In one of my first blogs, I wrote about the study that I have had the privilege to lead called “Living from the Heart Jesus Gave You.” I mention it again because of an emphasis in the study on how vital it is to have relationships built on love bonds rather than fear bonds. The “joy center” of the brain (located in the right orbital prefrontal cortex) is strengthened each and every time we are greeted by someone who is truly glad to be in our presence, who allows us to be seen through the eyes of heaven, who delights in our very existence. The authors of the study report that “some neurologists now say that the basic human need is to be the ‘sparkle in someone’s eye.’ When you catch a glimpse of a child’s face as she runs toward an awaiting parent with arms outstretched in unrestrained joy, you can witness firsthand that incredible power that comes from ‘being the sparkle in someone’s eye.’ When this joy is the strongest force in a child’s
world, life makes sense, because children look forward to moments when they can reconnect to joy – by being with their beloved. Wonderfully enough, that innocent, pure desire that begins in childhood continues throughout life. Life makes sense and is empowered by joy when people are in relationship with those who love them and are sincerely ‘glad to be with them’. Then my joy is returned and the giver’s joy is increased as well. This experience goes back-and-forth at
amazingly fast rates – six cycles per second in a nonverbal, face-to-face exchange – all the time growing strong ‘joy’ between both people.”
Today….I am beyond grateful for my Grandmother who never ceased to express joy for my existence, who loved me with a heavenly affirmation, and whose simple statement, “I love you like the apple of my eye” prepared me for life. I wonder if the resilience that was incorporated into my ability to overcome adversity was due primarily to the outpouring of her belief that I mattered to this world. Rising from the ashes could easily describe the seasons of despair and triumph over these many years.
Perhaps you believe you have so little to give…perhaps you have bought into the lie that your days of meaningful contribution to the Body of Christ have ended….I want to encourage you today to look around you. Someone needs you to look them in the eyes, face-to-face, and share the love of heaven with them. Someone is waiting for you to be the reason they can go on, no matter what they are enduring. Someone has been overwhelmed with life. Will you let them know they are loved? Will you say to them, “you are valued?” Will you let go of your preoccupation with what you are not receiving and instead be the life-giving force to another soul?
“I love you like the apple of my eye.” God said it and continues to say it to each of His children.
My Grandmother knew the importance of saying it. Will you?