God shielded them, cared for them, guarded them as the apple of God’s eye. – Deuteronomy 32:10 (NRSVUE, adapted)
When was the last time you were close enough to someone to see your own reflection in their eyes? Or maybe a better question is: when was the last time you were close enough to someone and could look into their eyes long enough to see yourself without it being weird? And not just that; how many people can you say you’ve had that experience with, period? I bet it’s very few, and that those very few were very close intimates.
That whole apple of the eye thing isn’t actually biblical. Sort of. God does affirm that you are the pupil of her eye a bunch. But calling the pupil the “apple” is an English idiom from a few hundred years ago. The literal meaning of the Hebrew isn’t certain, but it appears to mean something like “the little person of the eye,” referring to the experience of seeing yourself in there. It turns out that versions of this idiom have arisen independently in a ton of different languages. Even “pupil” comes from the Latin for “doll” or “girl.”
God wants you to know that you—you—are the little person of their eye. As far as God is concerned, you’re as precious and intimate as a lover, as a very best friend, as a parent bent over the crib where God looks up at them.
Draw close. Closer still. Look deep and long. See the little you printed right on the body of the Creator of heaven and earth. There you are, in the deep black pools of the eyes that watched the universe being born. Right where you belong, forever.
Never let me forget how good I look in there. Amen.