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Visual upgrades

August 20, 2014

Sometimes I wear glasses.

A lot of times, really.

I had Lasik in 2006 and that fixed the extreme nearsightedness, but Lasik doesn’t prevent the loss of close-up focus that often develops as the eyes age.  My corneas also decided to protest the Lasik by forming large raggedy scars that pull them into weird astigmatic shapes.  My vision is technically 20/15, but it’s not all that awesome of a 20/15 due to the warped corneas and the need for correction for reading.

Hence the glasses.  Progressive lenses, at that.

Know what drives me batty?  Smudges on lenses.

Smudges, smears, drips, drops, lint, fuzz—anything that interferes with the clarity of my vision.  I like my lenses to be perfectly clean and clear.

But truthfully, keeping my lenses clean can be a heck of a challenge.

We all have lenses.  Not just people who wear eyeglasses.

Your lenses are the filter through which you see the world.  Your gender, your socioeconomic status, your past experiences, your family background, your personal history, your education, your worldview, your personality, your spiritual beliefs…these are just a few of the elements that comprise our lenses.

And boy, is it easy for those lenses to get a little warped or grimy.

A cop pulls you over and says you rolled through a stop sign you when you are convinced you came to a complete stop?  That affects your lenses.

You were raised by a single mom after your dad took off, and she struggled while he just didn’t show up?  Yeah…that will definitely affect your lenses.

You asked God for something really important to you and it never materialized?  You were voted homecoming king or queen?  You were a sickly child?  Your spouse was abusive?  You were in the gifted class at school? You were teased or bullied when you were growing up?  Your parents were super strict and controlling?  A church leader treated you poorly?

All those things shape your lenses.  For better or worse, you see the world through the filter of your beliefs, your history, your personality.  That’s not inherently bad.  God made us all intensely and intricately unique, and this is one way our uniqueness is formed and expressed.  He is creative and He likes variety.

Sometimes, however, I am acutely aware that my lenses need cleaning and adjusting.  I need to see more clearly.  I need a higher thought.

I’m lousy at coming up with that change on my own.  It’s kind of like when I go to clean my glasses and all I end up doing is smearing the smudge all over the entire lens.  Then I see everything through a vague haze.

Irritating, and not very helpful.

It’s so much better when God cleans my lenses.

He is the only One who knows what will make me sidestep my usual personality traits, or disregard my past experiences, or flat-out change my mind.  I don’t even know those things about myself.

I count on Him to know those things about me.

I want to see as He sees, and then I want to think about it the way He thinks about it.  I want to see the world through eyes of mercy and grace and process it through a heart of love.

That would be a lot better than seeing through eyes of “I’m in a hurry” or “I’m tired” or “I’m annoyed”.

I am used to being one of God’s messier kids.  I can’t really change that about myself; it’s better to just accept it and know that if I hang close with Him, He’ll work it out with me and for me.

He’ll keep cleaning my lenses and adjusting my vision.


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