Thursday, February 26, 2015
A patch over one eye
Somewhere in a box of old family papers and images in our attic is a pair of light blue glasses that I wore as a tiny girl. No photographs exist of me wearing them as if my mom was afraid those ugly glasses would impact how I saw myself.
The irony is that those glasses DID impact how I saw not only myself, but everything around me. On a trip to see relatives in faraway Texas when I was a preschooler, an uncle pointed out to my mom that something appeared to be wrong with my eyes. When we returned, my mom searched diligently for an eye doctor who would even address the needs of a small child. Back in those days, there was neither the scrutiny nor the resources that are available today.
It was not that I could not see at all. I didn't even know anything was wrong. I didn't know anything different. I just thought that was the way the world looked.
It is one of my earliest memories, going to that doctor over the course of probably a year or two, riding the elevator in an old building, the mass of instruments in the examining room, and the opthalmologist peering into my eyes. My left eye was an overachiever, the right one didn't bother to do any of the work, a "lazy eye," it was deemed.
But the doctor didn't just make a diagnosis. She did something about it. She placed a dreaded patch over one eye of a pair of glasses, forcing my lazy eye to pull its weight. And then she commenced a training program for me.
Three times a day, I sat in front of the mirror at my mother's little makeup table in her room. My job was to follow the light of a little pen flashlight as my mom moved it in different patterns, mostly on the periphery of my vision. It was like calisthenics for my eyes, stretching and strengthening them. It didn't take too long for my eyes to begin working in sync with each other.
I saw everything differently. No more double vision, a new sense of depth perception, and those little black squiggles on the pages of my older brother's Dick and Jane books became actual words. Up until then, I just memorized what I heard.
I no longer need those glasses with one patch, but I am still aware of my need for deeper vision. I have found a daily reading of God's Word as what stretches and strengthens my eyes and the muscles of my heart. God changes me through His Word. It is not that I couldn't see before, but now each day I can see differently the people, situations, and glaring need that I might never have noticed before or even to know how to respond.
As a young girl, I needed that daily training for my eyesight; I need it now even more for my focus on God. And that changes everything, all the way down to the core of who I am.
We don't know what to do,
but our eyes are upon You.
2 Chronicles 20.12
As a little girl, I had no idea what I was missing. I didn't know there was anything more. What dimensions of God around me am I now missing? In Scripture, the eyes and the heart are always connected. Daily training in Scripture -- reading, thinking about what I read, taking a verse with me -- helps me to see beyond the obvious and know that there are eternal dimensions in it all. His purposes go even deeper than what I can see to what I can know about Him.
It impacts how I see God,
how I see others,
how I see what is around me,
and how I see myself.
Follow the light.