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eye contact

Note: By the time this blog is published, the news will be starting to get out about a pretty big change happening in the life of my family: after 20 years of serving at Berks Christian School, my husband is going to be stepping down from his role as BCS principal/ACSD co-superintendent at the end of this school year. Both he and I have had quite a journey the last couple of months as we've sensed God's leading in some powerful ways, directing us into a new chapter including him taking a position at a new school and all of the changes this will entail for our family. It feels hard to share this blog without at least acknowledging this change.


For now, I would love for you to join me in continuing to pray as we anticipate what God has in store for the ACSD community. May we all be ever mindful that through any change, God's love and faithfulness remain constant and He is the One who holds the world in His hands.


 


Above: Mrs. Seville and Mrs. Sizer, the two ladies who keep the BCS office running day in and day out, show how quickly making eye contact can lead to smiles.




My husband spoke in one of our recent chapel services, and during part of his talk, he shared a video called "Look Beyond Borders". (If you've never seen it, it's only 5 minutes long and it's worth watching.) In the description of the video, the idea behind it is described like this: "20 years ago, psychologist Arthur Aron discovered that 4 minutes of looking into each other's eyes can bring people closer. Using this discovery, we decided to carry out a simple experiment, during which refugees and Europeans sat opposite each other and looked into each other's eyes." It's a simple concept, but it's amazingly evident how powerful it truly is just for people to take time to truly see one another.



I have found this same concept to be a powerful one in helping me as a parent. One of our children is rather prone to crying, at times a bit - shall we say... dramatically. Sometimes this particular child seems to be expressing sadness that feels overpowering, and it can be hard as a parent to know what the child actually needs. But at one point, I made the strangest discovery. I asked this child to simply look into my eyes. I didn't say anything, I just held eye contact with the child. And after a few more moments of us looking at each other, the crying turned into... laughter.



Since then, I have lost count of the number of times I've used this strategy. I am not really even sure how to explain why it works, except that for this particular child, it works almost every time. Whatever is causing the tears, somehow it seems to fade into almost nothing once this child's eyes and mine have connected long enough.



Soon after seeing the video in that chapel talk, two of my other children were having trouble getting along while playing a game of Catan. There was a lot of anger, and I'm not honestly quite sure who was to blame, but it wasn't going well. One threatened to quit and even walked away for a time, the other was convinced that this sibling is always trying to sabotage the game in some way. Suddenly I remembered the power of eye contact and I blurted out something like, Both of you need to look at each other. Just look into each other's eyes. They were reluctant and didn't do it right away, but I was persistent - honestly partly out of curiosity. (I wasn't quite sure if this would actually help!)



Well guess what? It did help. Once they had solidly maintained just a few seconds of eye contact, they both started to laugh! They went back to playing the game, and the anger seemed to be completely dispelled.



Why does this work? And if it does work, why don't we do it more often?



I don't know for sure, but I think the reason it works must have something to do with the fact that we were made for relationships. And maybe we don't do it because we easily forget that relationships are such a key part of being human. Looking someone in the eyes is a way of seeing that person as a real person who has value, and this is the beginning of any relationship. Oh that we would all learn to spend more of our lives looking into each other's eyes.



Pray with me...


... Father, please give us more opportunities to look each other in the eye and give us the courage to do it

Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. 1 John 3:18


... Jesus, thank You for showing us how to look at people and love them

When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Matthew 9:36


... Holy Spirit, let ACSD be a place where all people experience being seen, known and loved

You, beloved, are worth so much more than a whole flock of sparrows. God knows everything about you, even the number of hairs on your head. So do not fear. Matthew 10:31



 

Thanks for taking the time to read this blog and pray for Alliance Christian School District! Lord willing, I plan to publish a new blog post weekly throughout the school year. Feel free to subscribe (at the bottom of this page) if you'd like to be notified each time a new blog post has been published. We also have a prayer team that is always open for new pray-ers to join. If you'd like to learn more, email me at cwarner@alliancechristian.org.


~ Carrie Warner, ACSD Prayer Team Coordinator


Soli Deo Gloria To God alone be the glory




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