My daughter has a look on her face when she hears and understands that I have told her to stop doing something but she wants to continue doing it anyway. It is like I can see the thoughts flickering within her pupils, flashing like film in a projector. Her head tilts down and her eyes stay focused on me but her body is tilting, turning, leaning towards the very thing that she is not supposed to be involved with.
Just today I was getting ready in my room and she was reaching, up on her tip toes, and grabbing the handle of of the door that opens to our deck. She already knew she shouldn't be trying to open the door but maybe she thought I was distracted enough that I wouldn't notice or even mind. I heard the grunt of her struggling with the door handle and I called out to her, reminding her that she is not allowed to open doors to the outside. She dropped her hand to her side and looked at me but her body was still leaning towards the door and its handle with intention upon her face.
It was at this point that I knew disobedience was inevitable if I didn't do something. I put down the things I had in my hand and walked over to her, getting down on my knees in front of her, and putting my face just before hers so that she could clearly see my eyes.
There is so much that is spoken with our eyes. Hurt, pain, joy, love, sadness, longing, triumph, hopefulness, bashfulness, anger, pride, encouragement, support.
My eyes were joining my mouth as I told her she may not open the door and that if she continued to try then there would be repercussions. By facing her and letting her see the truth on my face and in my eyes she decided that whatever mischief she was wanting to get into was not worth it and she stepped away from the door altogether, finding something else to do.
I couldn't help spending a lot of time thinking about myself and the way I respond to the word "No." Whether from my boss, my husband, a friend or God there is something that tugs at me telling me it is ok to square my shoulders towards the thing that is a "no" because at least I've turned my face away. Eventually, though, my neck and shoulders will start to ache and one will have to yield to the other. Since my head is a small part of my body it is frequently easiest to just turn it back in line with my shoulders. It takes more effort to move my shoulders, hips and eventually feet to join my head, but this is what is necessary when it comes to obedience. If my head and my body are not both in agreement turning away from the thing that is off limits then I am not really obeying.
Romans 6:16 says "Don’t you realize that you become the slave of whatever you choose to obey? You can be a slave to sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God, which leads to righteous living."
The Message translation says it like this "You know well enough from your own experience that there are some acts of so-called freedom that destroy freedom. Offer yourselves to sin, for instance, and it's your last free act. But offer yourselves to the ways of God and the freedom never quits."
I want freedom. I don't want to be enslaved by sin and turning my head away from it is not enough. I need to turn my whole body, head, shoulders, hips and feet away and then move, one foot in front of the other, towards something else. Something that won't ultimately destroy me and every good thing in my life. I need to move toward the things that bring me life and I can find those things by making eye contact with Jesus. It's those eyes that I can trust. It's in those eyes that I see my worth and value.
I am worth more than a life enslaved to sin.