Dearest Reader,

For the most part, our excursions to pick up essential supplies have been few and far between. However, with each trip, I was more and more bothered by the lack of eye contact. Without connection, I find there’s a loneliness that reaches far beyond social distancing. It’s as if we are less affected by what’s going on around us if we do not look one another in the eye.

I miss conversations, smiles from friends and strangers. And I miss looking into your eyes. Kindness, compassion, love for our neighbor and others, is expressed through our eyes.

Making eye contact has been as sparse as some essential supplies.

Furthermore, in the space between my eyes and yours, stories live. Our stories told and untold, shared and unshared. Much can be seen through and in our eyes.

Less eye contact is affecting me—loneliness without connection. There is pain without comfort. Heartaches and personal struggles left unnoticed when we avoid eye contact.

I feel the sorrow, the weight of it all.

As I continued to ponder this, I remembered a time when Jesus made eye contact with Peter. 

In Luke, chapter twenty-two, Jesus foretells Peter’s denial, and Peter strongly disagrees. He tells Jesus that he is willing to follow him unto death. By the way, no more than thirty verses later, Peter does deny Jesus. Following Peter’s third denial, there’s a poignant exchange between Jesus and Peter.

Luke 22:54-61

“Then they seized him and led him away, bringing him into the high priest’s house, and Peter was following at a distance. And when they had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and sat down together, Peter sat down among them. Then a servant girl, seeing him as he sat in the light and looking closely at him, said, ‘This man also was with him.’ But he denied it, saying, ‘Woman, I do not know him.’ And a little later someone else saw him and said, ‘You also are one of them.’ But Peter said, ‘Man, I am not.’ And after an interval of about an hour still another insisted, saying, ‘Certainly this man also was with him, for he too is a Galilean.’ But Peter said, ‘Man, I do not know what you are talking about.’ And immediately, while he was still speaking, the rooster crowed. 

And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered the saying of the Lord, how he had said to him, ‘Before the rooster crows today, you will deny me three times.’

At that moment, where connection happened between Jesus and Peter, something happened. 

The next passage tells us that Peter went away and wept bitterly. A moment looking into the eyes of his Savior and Peter is heartbroken, convicted, and moved to repentance.

Dearest one, haven’t we all had that moment of denial? I know I have, and through it, I relate to Peter’s broken heart, his weeping, his brokenness.

Though it was only a moment, in that one look, Peter looks into the eyes of Jesus and sees mercy and grace.

His eyes, our Savior’s eyes, swim in grace, and his heart beats with mercy. At that moment, we have a choice. We can either choose His love and compassion or sit in bitterness.

Peter’s encounter with Jesus radically changed him.

Dearest One, will you allow it to change you? If so, how?

“Each one of us, at one time or another, will fail the Lord and hear (in one way or another) the rooster crowing. Satan will tell us that we are finished, that our future has been destroyed, but that is not God’s message to us.” Warren Wiersbe

It was not the end of Peter. Peter went on to experience the most magnificent restoration.

You can have the same. New mercies will be there; you only need to open your heart and receive them.

Dearest One, are you making eye contact with Jesus? 

I would love to hear from you. You can comment below or send a private email to tlmashburn@yahoo.com.

Lastly, I am here to encourage you, equip you, and guide you as you redefine your wilderness.

Your Wilderness Guide,

* Catch up here.

*Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotes are in the English Standard Version from Bible.com

PS: My first book, Mornings In The Word, is available now. Order your copy today. Mornings In The Word consists of short devotions and insights for the middle!

“There is no space to live well or love well, much less pursue the God who created us to be in fellowship with Him. We close the gap between what we need and what we want with more. Our spinning lives and broken hearts are empty while appearing full. We paste a smile on our face and tell anyone who asks we are okay while inside, we are shattering a million different ways.” from Mornings In The Word.