Why do we close our eyes when we pray?
I asked this question yesterday with one answer - that sometimes, I just need rest. And there's the longstanding idea that we're just trying to block out all distractions and focus wholly on God. But there's another reason that sometimes, I close my eyes when I pray.
Sometimes...there's nothing worth looking at.
Sometimes, I'm struggling to see God. Maybe I can't see Him at all. Maybe all I can see is the trouble and the trial all around me, and I don't want to see it any more. I can't spend one more second looking at the problems of this world, and so, I close my eyes.
I close my eyes because when I do, what becomes most real to me is more than what I can see. Things don't look the way they've been seeming for so long. It's often in these moments, eyes closed, that I feel my own heart beating. And I don't remember when it started beating so fast, or why. Apart from what my eyes can see, I realize I'm not really so stressed. I'm not so troubled. This world is troubled, and I just kind of got wrapped up in it. I feel my heart racing, and I just breathe until it slows down again.
It's often in these moments, eyes closed, that I start to hear again the whispers of God. And I realize how loud I've had to turn up my world, how much I've cranked the volume on everything because I've been afraid of missing an important message. ...I was missing it anyway, for all the noise. Apart from what my eyes can, see which looks so busy and frantic and crazy, I realize it's not really so loud. I did that. I turned the volume up. And I'm able to quiet back down until the whisper is loud enough. Then I settle into that.
It's often in these moments, eyes closed, that I feel the idleness settling into my hands. They've been so busy, been working so hard, been doing so much, and yet, it's not been anything. All this work, all this labor has been for nothing because it hasn't been meaningful work. It hasn't been God's work. It's been the work that this world has convinced me needs doing, and it's been all for naught. Apart from what my eyes can see, I can sense what my hands long to do. The work that's built into them. The work that's inspired in me. And I'm able to put my hands to better use.
Sometimes, there's nothing worth looking at because it's all distraction. It's all meant to deceive me, to make me believe that God is not enough. And God? I can't even see Him at all. So I close my eyes.
I close my eyes until I can remember Him. I close my eyes until I can hear Him. I close my eyes until I can feel Him. I close my eyes until I know that when I open them again, I will see. I will see Him.
Just another reason why sometimes, I close my eyes when I pray.