I remember when I first learned that in Eastern Christianity, icons are seen as windows through which we see into the spiritual realm. Here's something quite beautiful about the experience:
God broods over us in the icons. And so we are summoned to look at them every day for they bring life, food, and grace into our bodies. There is a shining forth in our flesh that emerges with undivided attention and devotion. We come to drink in the icon and to be taken and held by it. We stand before the eye of God, or sit, or kneel, and we bow and kiss the icon, touching our fingers to our forehead, lips, shoulders, and heart as we greet and acknowledge that we are there — before All That Is, before God, the Holy One. Always the icon seeks to bring us to prayer and attentive adoration.