Thursday, May 26, 2011

An Apple Prayer

Jesus, I know what people mean by that odd expression:
"being the apple of someone's eye."
It means a person is loved and cherished by the beholder.
But why the apple of one's eye?

Stevie Wonder used those words in his song:

"You are the sunshine of my life
That's why I'll always be around,
You are the apple of my eye,
Forever you'll stay in my heart."

But why the apple of one's eye?

I was curious, Jesus, and I had to find out.
So I went online, and there I found it.
"Apple of my eye" comes from the Bible!
In the Book of Deuteronomy, chapter 32, verse 10.

Yahweh, your Father, was offering his people encouragement.
In the midst of their present problems, God reminded them
that he saved them from the desert,
and he said of Israel,
"I sustained him in a desert land,
in a howling wilderness waste;
I shielded him, cared for him,
guarded him as the apple of my eye."

I found where it came from, but I still didn't understand
why the apple of one's eye?

I had to dig deeper, Lord, and as usual,
I found a clue more mysterious than before.
I found that the Hebrew word in Deuteronomy
translated as "apple" originally meant "little man."
Ishown in Hebrew means "little man."

Again I had to ask,
"Why the apple (or little man) of one's eye?"
I had to dig deeper, Lord!

And, as usual, it's not clear why or how the Hebrews went
from "little man" to "apple,"
but I think the transition was something like this:

The "little man" was one's own reflection in the pupil of the eye of the beholder.
When I look into another's eyes I see myself!
I see a little person staring back.

But again, Lord, I had to ask why apple?
And as best I can make out,
when the passage in Deuteronomy was translated into Latin,
St Jerome rendered the Hebrew ishown with the Latin pupillam,
which is "pupil" in English.

And because people thought the pupil of the eye resembled an apple...
--well, as they say, the rest is history.

Somewhere, Lord, in all this searching there must be a lesson for me.

If I am the little man in your eye,
may I draw the conclusion that I am close to you, precious in your sight?

I join my prayer with that of David,
I pray,
"Guard me as the apple of the eye,
hide me in the shadow of your wings."

I am not worthy of such care and protection and love,
but I am grateful for your providence.
I still don't know why I would be "the apple of your eye,"
but I am glad that I can be seen there.

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