Tuesday, July 15, 2008

New glasses

The Beve's a pretty blind man. He's one of those people who actually needs to put on his glasses in order to find his glasses, if you know what I mean. He doesn't take a step from bed without his spectacles in place. I wear glasses as well, but my eye problems are different--as unique as I am. With one near-sighted and one far-sighted, my eyes have always been at war with each other. They simply refuse to work together, which causes no end of problems--and headaches. However, I barely notice if I have my glasses on or not. Sometimes I have to put my finger up to my face to determine if the lenses are where they should be before I leave the house. More than once I've been out and about wondering why the day's so hazy, then realize it's because I've forgotten my glasses. But close one eye, and I can read every street sign. Close the other eye, and every book is clear. In fact, my whole life, I've read with one eye closed--even now with the fancy prism & progressive lenses the ophthalmologist said would change my life!

And we've made sure our kids have had routine eye exams, of course. E's worn glasses for years. E takes after her dad--puts on her glasses before she gets out of bed. And SK got glasses and braces the same year: in third grade. Of course, she still hardly ever wears them. Don't ask me why. We all know she needs them for her astigmatism. But she's used to her eyes being what they are, I guess. (As I write this, however, she's at the eye doctor, so maybe this is the year she'll actually put them on once and for all...!) Then there's J--perfect teeth, perfect eyes. He got glasses a year ago, just so he could see signs at night--but they made his eyes 20/15. Poor thing.

Why am I talking about this? Well, I took V to pick up her glasses yesterday. At her exam a few weeks ago, it was discovered what she'd long suspected: she is significantly near-sighted. She has to sit close to the television to see it clearly, she squints to read the computer screen. So we picked out some pretty hip frames and waited. And finally yesterday was the day. And wow, am I glad I was there when she put them on for the first time. Everyone should have that kind of experience in their life.

V lifted them to her face, and the woman fitter told her to look around for a moment. A startled expression came over V's face, a smile broke out, and she said, "I can see a license plate. I can read your license plate across the parking lot!" She began to giggle. Then she couldn't stop giggling. The woman said, "There's nothing like the first time someone really sees!" We were all laughing as V pointed out things around the room. And all the way home she read signs to me. "Is this what it's supposed to be like, C?" she asked me at one point. "Is this what I've been missing?"
"Yes, V," I said. "You should be able to read those signs."
I take it for granted--being able to see whatever I want. I don't even think about it. Big signs on buildings, street signs, highway signs. It doesn't occur to me that it's a gift, this ability to see.

An interesting thing has already happened to V, in just 24 hours. Without her glasses on, her eyes hurt and the world is blurry. She can't bear it. She simply must wear them. Sure, she thinks she looks a little nerdy, but being able to see is more important than how she looks. She was that blind.

It makes me wonder about the eyes of my heart--my spiritual eyes. I think that perhaps I try to look at the world without the spectacles of the Holy Spirit helping me to read the signs clearly. It doesn't have to be blurry but it is because I don't ask Him to be the lens through which I focus. Right now, right within me, He wants to be my glasses. He wants every single thing, every single person with whom I come in contact with to be clearly seen as HE sees it/them. "This I pray, that the eyes of your heart be enlightened..." Paul says in his prayers for the Philippians. Paul understood this. Do we? Do we go into situations asking for His Holy Spirit eye-glasses to be firmly on our human eyes, so that we see things as He does, respond to the world as He does? Just think of how much pain and sin we could avoid--for ourselves and others--if we did.

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