Thursday, 16 August 2012


According to Google, ‘windows of the soul’ is attributed to no one in particular, being simply a traditional English phrase. The French have a similarly worded phrase, ‘the eyes are the mirror of the soul’, equally old and traditional.

What had sparked my interest in sourcing the phrase is the work a psychiatric nurse has been doing with long term institutionalised mental patients. She is a follower of Jesus Christ but the facility she works in does not permit her to speak of His love or His power to heal. While working with a severely delusional man she began to engage him in uninterrupted eye contact for about 15 seconds, during which time she quietly refuted his specific delusions and spoke encouragement directly to the deepest part of being, his spirit. He became quiet and reasonable and remained so between sessions. She had found a way to communicate with the man he really was – in his spirit, not his mind.  What was even more remarkable was that in the following months he occasionally would approach her at the nurses’ station and lean forward for eye contact, saying, ‘I just need to look awhile’.  His spirit had begun to recognise when it needed a bit of encouragement.

All of this reminded me how valuable eye contact is in ordinary life.  Giving someone your true attention with eye contact is so affirming. It says, ‘You are valuable as a person. You are worth noticing’. It is information conveyed at the most primary level of our need for affirmation and it is information received and welcomed regardless of the depth of conversation that accompanies it.  The eyes have it.


  1. It is so true that so many of our interactions in daily life are fleeting - both in eye contact and in our true interest level. How much more richer life would be if we gave others -- and life itself -- so much more of our undivided attention.

  2. It's the curse of a too busy life so often.