NORMAN — It is just plain scary how much of our day is spent with our eyes closed.
What are some of the reasons we close our eyes during the day?
Let’s look at praying. Go into any church, temple or masque and check out the faces of the congregation. The people who at least appear to be praying rather than thinking about how quickly they will be able to get out of the parking lot, have their eyes closed. Perhaps by closing our eyes we block the distractions around us.
Your immediate response may be that there are no distractions in a house of worship. If you believe that, then you must have closed your eyes the moment you walked in. What would you call restless and noisy children? Calming? Conducive to prayer? Think again. By their very existence urchins taken to a solemn ceremony tend to act out and inspire visions of dumping water on their sweet little heads to shock them into silence.
How about the nuzzling couple sitting next to you? Besides hissing at them to take it outside to their car, their antics do not inspire holy thoughts. Of course, if you happen to be a eunuch, the couple may not distract you from your prayers. But just because parts are missing, the interest is probably still there.
The various stages of dress or lack thereof can also distract a person from prayer. Either your response is that of a thin-lipped prude or a fashionista. The condemnation in the prude’s mind and eyes will likely lead that supposedly holy person down a path that is not soul-healthy.
Then again, if the sight before you is a sea of shoe soles and protruding behinds, it is advisable to close your eyes and hope those folks do not suffer from severe gas during the service.