In a recent visit to the opthalmologist I confessed that as I have gotten older, and my contact lens prescription stronger, I am finding it difficult to read with contacts in.
I expected the doctor to say, "Well, that's what you get for being an old fogie," or maybe "Here's a couple of Coke bottles you can hold up to your eyes when the print is less than 36 point." Instead, her response surprised me.
"Just take out the right contact lens," she advised.
"Just when I'm reading?" I asked, picturing myself with the Sunday Times spread on my lap and my right contact lens balanced deftly on the index finger of one hand.
"No, all the time," she replied.
It struck me as rather odd that an opthalmologist who prescribed TWO contact lenses would tell me I needed only ONE. So I asked for an explanation.
She explained that, with contacts in, both of my eyes see better than 20-20. That is a measure of how well they see at a distance -- what is 20 feet away LOOKS like it is 20 feet away, clarity-wise. When I try to focus on something close up, the image is focused at a point BEHIND my retina, instead of right on it. So it becomes impossible to read without magnifying glasses.
As it turns out, my right eye is very near-sighted. It is perfectly adapted to see things two or three feet away. Anything farther away and, like the blind man in Mark 8:24, "“I see people; they look like trees walking around.” (I knew I'd find a way to get a Bible reference in here).
The opthalmologist went on to explain that the brain is quite capable of learning which eye to use if you have one that is gifted at seeing things up close and another that can only see things at a distance. She said it might be disconcerting at first, but suggested I give it a try for a couple of days and see how it worked.
My first day of "monocular" seeing went pretty well. I stared at the newspaper for a moment, then my right eye kicked in and I could read. I looked at the clock on the wall and, after a second, my left eye told me the time. I was even able to drive to work without incident.
A few days later, I was trying to explain to someone the idea of seeing the world through the eyes of God. I had noticed that, when we address situations on God's terms, we open up a whole different set of possibilities than when we address them on our terms.
Here is an example:
I was speaking to a woman at work. I had spoken with her before about work-related things. She was pleasant enough, but it didn't seem that we had much in common.
One day, as we were discussing a problem with her computer, another woman rounded the corner of her cubicle, already speaking.
"Mary, I'm really going to be needing your prayers," the woman said. She stopped abruptly when she saw me and Mary looked a little uncomfortable.
I smiled and said, "Maybe I could pray with you too."
I went on to explain that I had just completed a four-day Kairos ministry, bringing Christ to inmates at a state prison. It turned out that Mary knew someone else who had been on the Kairos team with me. We discussed other things we had in common. I shared some of the Christian writing I had done and she shared it with others.
We had tapped into the God channel, and it was like going from seeing in black and white to seeing in 16 million colors.
The trip to the opthalmologist had its own Godly influences. It provided me with the analogy to help explain this whole idea of God being constantly available.
When we accept Jesus as Lord, it is almost like we are given a new eye -- a new way of seeing things. Through that eye, everyone is a child of God. We are called to love one another and find commonality with our brothers and sisters in Christ.
We still have our old, myopic, eye. It continues to oversee our mundane world of work, paying bills, mindless entertainment.
What we need is to train ourselves to use God's eye when appropriate.
Unlike my near-sighted eye, which is good at seeing things up close, our earthly eyes are good only at seeing things without perspective. They view without charity, without Godly love, without innocence. They add bias, a critical spirit, pride.
Perhaps all of this has helped me look at a verse from scripture in a different way as well.
"If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. (Matthew 5:29 NIV)
This is a wonderful analogy, Al. A great message told with a delightful personal experience for application. It is certainly an area in which MANY people can relate. When we see through God's eyes, the world is a better place and the people in it are seen in a different light - the Light of Jesus. May God bless you in your writing as it blesses others. Yours in Christ's name, Karen