Forty years ago this Fall, I left the small town of Bessemer City, located in the Piedmont of our state to go to an even smaller town of Cullowhee, located in the western mountains of our state, to attend college at Western Carolina University. I was the first child in my family to go college and I was the first grandchild on my momma’s side to attend college. At this point in my life, you could have said I was “the apple of my parent’s and grandparent’s eye”.
The drive seemed to take forever. There was a lot of road construction and detours at that time. When we finally got to WCU, my parents helped me carry my things to my dorm room. After that, my dad gave me some last words of advice and my mom gave me a hug. They drove off. I was no longer “under their wings.” My mom and dad shared with me later in life, they almost told me to take my stuff back into the car and go back home.
College to them represented the unknown, the influences of the world, and temptations: lots of temptations. They had legitimate questions and concerns. Would I be safe? Would I be tempted to drink and do drugs? Would I get into trouble? Would I make the grade? Would I get a girl pregnant? Would I remember how I was raised and make the right choices? The problem for them is they couldn’t answer these questions for me. Only I could.
I would love to say I made all the right decisions, but I didn’t. Even though I failed in so many ways, my parents still loved me. I was still “the apple of their eye” and always had a place to come home to, no matter what.
David was “the apple of God’s eye.” He was a “man after God’s own heart”. Yet David made bad choices. Even though he did, God still loved him. David could always find comfort in “the shadow of His wings.” What was true for David is true for us as well. God sees us as “the apple of His eye.”
According to Merriam-Webster, in an article from the Deseret News:
The idiom "apple of one's eye" actually refers to the pupil of the eye. In ancient times, the pupil was believed to be a round, solid object comparable to an apple. Since the pupil is essential to vision, it was held to be something very precious. Thus, when you call someone the "apple of your eye," you are telling them that they are cherished.
The phrase is from the Bible, in which it appears in four books of The Old Testament: Deuteronomy, Psalms, Proverbs and Lamentations. … A more literal translation of the Hebrew is actually "little man of his eye," which probably refers to the reflection of oneself that one sees in the eye of another person. In early English translations of the Bible, however, the phrase appears as "apple of his eye."… Thus the phrase developed into "apple of one's eye" and retained the meaning of something treasured.
In God’s eyes, we are valued, cherished, and treasured. In fact, He loves us so much, He sent His son to die for us and for our sins. Our job is to make everyone know this same truth. Let us be a church filled with “apples of God’s eyes” and live so that people can see the reflection of God’s love in our eyes.
I love you and it’s a privilege to be your pastor.