Essay / Literature

Heaven In Her Eye

John Mark Reynolds, 2005.

Milton famously describes Eve as having “heaven in her eye.” As a young adult, I loved that line, because it seemed such a perfect description of the beloved when I found her. She would have heaven in her eye. Her gaze would promise paradise in the raptures of two folk in love.

Of course, this was a crude and foolish misreading. Milton is picturing Eve as an image of Paradise. Her very look is up-lifting to Adam. Her intense physical and spiritual self are untainted with sin or wrong desire. She is good for Adam, because she is herself and points him to something even better for Adam than she. She has heaven, and not herself, in her eye.

Lately, I have realized that this is what I would like to be to Hope and to all the people I meet. Like Eve, I hope they see heaven in my eye and not ambition or self. My great blessing has been to have a wife with heaven in her eye, even when I did not want to see heaven. My great calling is to become that to Hope and to all the folk I meet. God give me heaven in my eye.

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