Wednesday, May 6, 2009

A Blind Eye

Being nearsighted didn’t bother me much as a little girl, because I didn’t really know the difference – to me, it was normal to see clearly only close up. As I grew older it surely became a pain. In upper grade school I always had to be seated in the first row or two so that I could read the chalk board. By the time I was in seventh grade that was no longer sufficient, and I had to get the dreaded glasses.

The frames for glasses back then were those unsightly, pointy things, as though people who had to wear them really wanted to look like cats. I even cried when I first realized I would have to wear them to school. I do remember, though, my vision with the new glasses as I was driven home by my father that first day. I was truly amazed at what the world actually looked like, and at the distance I could now see clearly.

In high school I was so vain that for a time I only put the glasses on during class when I was trying to read the black board. Some people said I was stuck up because I didn’t wave or say ‘hi’ in the hallways between classes. What they didn’t understand was that without my glasses, I couldn’t distinguish one blur from another – I really just didn’t see them.

Eventually I saved up enough to get contacs. Anyone who has had to wear them knows what a nuisance they can be. I endured them for years, but eventually my eyes just rejected the hard lenses, and would not accept the newer soft variety either. So, it was back to glasses. At least the styles were kinder to faces by then.

Now, I am what could be called “a medical miracle.” A few years ago I had the surgery to correct nearsightedness. Before the surgery, the doctor told me that if I could read that sign on the wall, my vision would be 20/400. I couldn’t, and that made me more than twice legally blind which is defined as seeing from 20 feet what you should be able to see from a distance of 200 feet.

I was blind, but now I see. It’s not the sort of thing one can easily take for granted. In truth, my far vision is better now than it has ever been my whole life. When spending time with my husband, I am usually the one to say, “Look, a deer!” Or, “Look, pelicans!” I don’t fear not being able to read signs when I’m driving – the list of reasons I am grateful goes on and on. It is just indescribably wonderful.

When I was a little girl, I was content being nearsighted. As I grew up, I knew it was simply not acceptable to live that way. As Christians, are we content to be nearsighted or are we seeking to become farsighted? Do we have our eyes set on the temporal things of earth? Do we turn a blind eye to the things of God, not praying and seeking Him, resisting His presence, not seeking His heart but seeking our own desires?

Too often, I fear, we focus on everything we want in the here and now, not considering how quickly the time is racing by and how soon the present time and world will give way to the eternal. Ah, how sad, because we don’t realize the wonder of becoming farsighted, and having the vision for the incredible future God has in store for us.

Psalm 90:12 So teach us to number our days,
That we may present to You a heart of wisdom

The story of Martha and Mary is a good illustration. Martha had her focus on temporal things; she was distracted away from the presence of the Lord by her goal of preparing a meal for Him and the others. Mary, on the other hand, had heavenly vision – He was calling her to listen and grow, and she wasn’t about to miss the opportunity by being distracted with the things of earth.

Luke 10:38-42 Now as they were traveling along, He entered a village; and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home. She had a sister called Mary, who was seated at the Lord's feet, listening to His word. But Martha was distracted with all her preparations; and she came up to Him and said, "Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone? Then tell her to help me."

But the Lord answered and said to her, "Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her."

Why was Jesus able to endure all the things He had to endure while on earth as a man? For the 'joy set before Him' – simply put, He had heavenly vision!

Hebrews 12:1-3 Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

Matthew 13:16-17 "But blessed are your eyes, because they see; and your ears, because they hear. For truly I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.”

Dear Lord, let us be thankful for eyes that see – and don’t let us be content with nearsightedness! Thank you that You do have a good plan for Your people!

Job 42:1-2Then Job answered the LORD and said, "I know that You can do all things, And that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted.


1 comment:

Betsy Markman said...

Hey, this is a great analogy drawn from your life! Glad you shared it.