Open My Eyes So I May See

Yesterday, I started Thinking about “Song Styles Saturday,” my mind still thinking about the death of George Floyd and the plight of my African-American friends in situations I take for granted.

I have thought often this week about with my friend Gilbert, a man of African-American descent. We were attending a retreat. He needed a ride. I gladly gave him one. I just exited I-45 at Texas Highway 19 outside of Huntsville. As I rounded a curve I saw a Texas State Trooper. I saw my speedometer. I was over the speed limit and I knew… I made my way onto the shoulder, stopped, and waited for the trooper.

Once at my window he asked for my license and insurance. I had them in hand. He read my license and said, “Mr. Broyles, I stopped you for exceeding the speed limit. Where are you going?” I told him.

About that time he glanced over and saw Gilbert. The trooper’s attitude changed. He was courteous to me. He was less so with Gilbert. He didn’t use foul language and there were no racial slurs but his language, facial expressions and tone were harsh. He made it abundantly clear he was not happy to see Gilbert whose only mistake was riding with a guy who wasn’t doing a very good job of maintaining his speed.

I tried to steer the situation back to me. I have never wanted a speeding ticket but would gladly have taken one that day to get Gilbert out of there. I said something about getting my ticket. The trooper said (again courtesy – he turned it off and on like a switch), “Mr. Broyles, I will have you on your way in a few minutes. I need to address this first and please don’t interfere.”

He flipped the switch again, asked Gilbert a few more questions, then he went back to his cruiser. When he returned, I got a warning ticket, I was surprised. He told Gilbert to be careful in that area. He flipped his switch one more time and said, “Mr. Broyles, have a nice day.” As he walked back, I drove carefully away.

I apologized to Gilbert. He was so gracious to me. “It’s not your fault,” he said. In a way it was. If I paid better attention to my speed it wouldn’t have happened.

I should apologize to Gilbert again. Until this week, when other friends reminded me, I forgot about that day. When the retreat began, for me, it hadn’t happened.

When I thought about my song for today, Something had bounced in my head much of the week. The tune I kept thinking about was “Open My Eyes, that I May See” but with different words.

Yesterday I got out a hymnal and read the original lyrics. It struck me that this old hymn speaks to the world this week. Take a look at the lyrics by Clara Scott. She penned the tune as well. She published the song in 1895, shortly before her death. I believe it is still relevant.

  1. Open my eyes, that I may see
    Glimpses of truth thou hast for me;
    Place in my hands the wonderful key
    That shall unclasp and set me free.
    Silently now I wait for thee,
    Ready, my God, thy will to see.
    Open my eyes, illumine me, Spirit divine!

2. Open my ears, that I may hear
Voices of truth thou sendest clear;
And while the wavenotes fall on my ear,
Everything false will disappear.
Silently now I wait for thee,
Ready, my God, thy will to see.
Open my ears, illumine me, Spirit divine!

3. Open my mouth, and let me bear
Gladly the warm truth everywhere;
Open my heart and let me prepare
Love with thy children thus to share.
Silently now I wait for thee,
Ready, my God, thy will to see.
Open my heart, illumine me, Spirit divine!

Though Clara Scott’s words speak so well to our current world, I still had lyrics I wanted to get out of my head and onto paper (as it were).

“Open My Eyes, I’ve Failed to See”

[Verse 1]
Open my eyes I’ve failed to see
The fate of friends did not touch me
That will protect and let them live free
No fear of hate but liberty.

[Chorus]
My hardened heart has left it be,
Compassion for those not like me
The privilege I have, I didn’t see
Lord change me.

[Verse 2]
Open my ears I need to hear
The oppressed voices far and near,
And as the cries sound deep in my ear
Lovers of peace should have no fear.

[Verse 3]
Open my mouth with words to share
Words to be filled with love and care
That justice may stand, divine love our brand
God’s love you show to ALL in our land

[Verse 4]
Open my soul, the world to see
Love those you’ve placed all ’round me
A world of justice, Lord let it be,
For all your children, violence must cease

Be Blessed

Seeking the Genuine,
Keith

Copyright 2020, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

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