Pastor Jud Wilhite knows what it means to have the harsh light of reality washing over you twenty-four-seven. Serving in Las Vegas, he sees life in the unrelenting light of the desert sun and the dusk to dawn burn of the casino neon and in the revelatory power of these beams, it makes it very difficult to hide the real you behind the mask that so many Christians tend to don. In his encouraging book, Eyes Wide Open, Wilhite pens a wide-ranging spiritual guide to putting aside the disguise intended to show people how we have it all together and to look in the mirror and see what God truly sees in us. He challenges us to open our eyes and our heart and see the person that God loves without reserve.
The title can lead you to think that Wilhite might have filled the pages with positive, image affirming messages but as soon as you start to read, you find much, much more. His plain spoken spiritual leadership guides the reader through a series of ‘openings’ meant to expose different aspects of our person, character, and behavior to the self-image that God wants us to see rather than the poor, guilt-burdened person that we paint for ourselves. You don’t need to read from page one to the end. Each of Jud’s chapters can stand on its own and you can choose to explore the aspect of life that most applies to you.
Pastor Wilhite asks pointed questions that can orient the way in which you approach the book. He asks you to consider yourself before God and how that image affects the nature of your relationship. Are you a performer, trying to work your way into His heart? Do you believe in your heart that God already loves you personally, despite your flaws and less than holy behaviors? Do you believe that God turns away from you if your prayer life is spotty, your faith on a roller coaster, and deep down you aren’t quite sure of everything? These are tough questions, hard realities that challenge each of us in what we believe about the bond between God and us. Wilhite worked hard to ensure that thumbing through the engaging chapters challenges every answer that you might come up with, especially if you insist upon continuing to claim a negative perspective.
Each essay is brief and pointed and can be good for igniting specific prayer, meditation, and journaling. He asks you see yourself in the characters that populate the stories from Dog Chapman, Evil Kneivel, and Johnny Cash to the myriad people that Jud himself has encountered on the ministry field he serves in Las Vegas. With each page, you stop to think about your own self image, about the way that the image that we often develop for ourselves is much different that the image that the Bible teaches us that God has of us. Turn the page and Pastor Jud is there asking if today is the day that you want to lay yourself wide open to seeing the real you, the you that your Father sees and loves unconditionally. When your eyes are wide open, a different life unfolds in front of you.
For more information, Eyes Wide Open