Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Infected Eyes

“…When your eye is good, your whole body is filled with light. But when it is bad, your body is filled with darkness.” Luke 11:14b

I endured five traumatic days of pus oozing from my swollen red eyes when I finally made my way to the doctor’s office. Never have I been so thankful for sunglasses which shielded me from shocked and worried glances of patients in the waiting room. He took a culture and put me on antibiotics to clear up the highly contagious bacterial infection. It was not just my eyes infected but there was a nasty infection in my body that manifested itself in my eyes. For days I felt like a leper, unclean to be around people. It is a relief to have the infection cleared. Now I feel like my eyes and my whole body are in good health.

We can have a physical eye infection but there is also a spiritual eye infection. Ahmed, a secular Muslim university student, feels compelled to keep Ramadan this year – not for himself, but for his mother’s sake. She is a wealthy woman who has accumulated another piece of real estate property but someone has cast an infected eye of jealousy towards her. She begged her son to keep Ramadan so that nothing bad would happen from the wicked glance of that person’s jealous eye.

No matter where you go in the Islamic world you will find Muslims who are afraid of the evil eye(nazar). We will hear many scenarios. A lady can not get pregnant, has a miscarriage or her child gets sick. She is afraid that someone has been jealous of her and is causing harm. Many sicknesses, broken marriages, and a host of other troubles are attributed to the evil eye. Delara refuses to wear any jewelry except her wedding ring lest someone get jealous of her gold. Shahnaz actually removed her two girls from school because she was so afraid that some children were jealous of her children. Saima will not show any of her sewing to her Afghan friends in case they will become jealous of her talent. Faribeh gave me a picture of her beautiful baby girl dressed in boy’s clothes. She was afraid someone could be jealous of her little girl and somehow this trick would avert harm coming upon her. Ali joked as he explained that many people in his country live luxuriously in the inside of their houses but the outside can look the opposite. No one wants to attract the evil eye. Many will wear a pendant of an eye to avert jealousy.

Jealousy is a wicked infection for which there is no cure except it be rooted out by the healing blood of Jesus; the spiritual antibiotic. Jealousy truly infects not only the eyes but the whole body. It is a spiritual sickness. Unfortunately it doesn’t make only the person casting the evil eye sick but also the ones who feel they are the target. We need to discuss the subject of jealousy with those who cast the evil eye and also assure the targeted ones that God is jealous over them with a pure and good jealousy and His eye is stronger than any jealous evil eye.

Dear heavenly Father, thank You that Your jealousy over us is founded in pure love and never wants to cause us harm. In Jesus’ name, Amen.