This, my friends, is the side eye.
Those that know me well are aware of the fact that I have perfected this particular glance. And apparently I’ve passed it onto my offspring. God bless her.
I love it because it’s so multifaceted. This facial expression can reveal a lot about one’s feelings towards a person, situation, or unsolicited opinion. It could mean many things but should only be taken in context.
For instance, if you see your significant other texting THAT girl – audacity side eye. Or when the person in front of you misses the super short green light that only allows 2.5 cars to go because they’re taking selfies – angry side eye. Or when that person you can’t stand at work says hello to you in the elevator – suspicious side eye. Just kidding. You should be a nice Christian, smile real big, and bless them all the way up to the 30th floor.
Or when you read Isaiah and all you see is the doom and gloom. Here comes my personal favorite – the ‘oh, really’ side eye.
Come on now. I know I’m not the only one who’s read the fire of God’s wrath and had a moment well deserving of a side eye. But once I got outside of my feelings, and read between the lines of eternal damnation, I began to see beauty in the ashes of what God had chosen to destroy. I know, right. Enter confused side eye.
For those who are unfamiliar with Isaiah, here’s the quick and dirty version: The worship of the people in the Kingdom of Judah had grown empty – their hearts just weren’t in it. God isn’t happy with this, so Isaiah warns of His judgment. They give him the whatever side eye. Isaiah tells them of the salvation that is to come despite the side eye action. Hope in the midst of the downfall. Mercy in the mess.
One of my favorite verses in Isaiah is 26:7 which reads “But for those who are righteous, the way is not steep and rough. You are a God who does what is right, and you smooth out the path ahead of them.”
Have you ever been walking a path (metaphorical ones, not real ones) and the way was rough? It seemed like you had to climb mountains, run through obstacles, slay dragons, and kiss babies to get there? And not only that, but your mind wasn’t at ease. For some reason, you felt a tugging or just something pulling you in the opposite direction.
But these verses confirm that when you are walking on the path God has made for you, the way is not steep and rough. That’s not to say you won’t have trials, or that it will be the easiest thing you’ve ever done. Because many of us can testify to the fact that living righteously is anything but easy. I mean, you are literally and figuratively going against the grain of popular and common sense.
However, what I’ve learned in my walk is that God’s way may not be logical and His sense is not common. That’s what makes him God. Would you worship a God who did everything according to what you and everyone else thought made sense? Who bent his will to match our every whim and emotion? I didn’t think so.
But even if you are the only one swimming upstream and against the current, at least you’re swimming peacefully. You are swimming without worry. You are swimming without fear of what you’ll run into as you go upstream.
And wouldn’t you rather swim upstream than be carried downstream towards destruction?
If you’ve ever seen a movie in the last 100 years you know those scenes where some beautiful but slightly naive character gets caught up in the downstream current? Then the camera cuts away to the super scary Niagra-like drop off and massive waterfall up ahead? Yeah, they usually don’t make it.
But with your efforts (and I emphatically emphasize the effort needed here) to go against the grain comes peace that only the Lord can grant and the comfort of knowing that all you have accomplished is really from Him (Isaiah 26:12).
So I’ll take holy ashes over worldly creation any day. No side eye.