Wednesday, April 25, 2012

A Clear VIEW

It started with the fine print on menus in dimly lit restaurants. My husband found that he simply couldn't read them anymore. I laughed at him as with increasing frequency I was forced to read his dining options aloud to him. Increasingly frequent headaches from staring too intently at computer screens all day and a decreasing ability to read small print of any kind finally forced him to accept the inevitable, and he came home one day with the glasses that were eventually to become a permanent fixture on his face.

I realize now that I shouldn't have laughed, because eventually the same thing happened to me. I could feel the strain in my eyes as they tried to bring the printed pages before me into focus. Soon, I too, became the proud owner of a new set of spectacles. I've noticed lately a need to have them ever close at hand, while just mere months ago they would sit unused for days at a time. My use of them grows as my eyesight fails, a result of the aging process. My glasses are quickly becoming an indispensable tool I take with me as I travel through my days.

I put them on as I sat down to read this morning and realized that once again they were desperately in need of cleaning. The task itself triggered the same memory it always does, of my father cleaning my glasses for me when I was a little girl. My entry into the family photo album was marked by my vision problems. Pictures of a decidedly cross-eyed toddler were followed quickly by those of the same child wearing a miniature pair of specs. I remember those eyeglass frames to this day. In fact, if truth be told, I probably still have them, buried in a box somewhere in the basement. Those black cat-eye frames with silver specks were nightly tucked away in a blue leather case with a panda bear sticker on the front.

I hated those glasses. I wanted my eyes to have free exposure to the world around me and disliked the thought of having to hide them behind those vision aids. I ignored them as best I could, and of course it never entered my mind to clean them occasionally. So my father took on that job. I remember how he'd sigh as he once again plucked them off my face, wiped them clean and set them once again upon my nose. He, better than I, understood the necessity of keeping a clear view of things.

Now that glasses are once more a part of my life I once again struggle with remembering to clean them regularly. It's not until the smudges on them loom larger than the words I'm trying to read that it occurs to me that they might need some attention. My husband doesn't have that problem. He cleans his glasses as part of his morning routine each day, recognizing the need to see clearly if he's to accomplish all he has to do each day.

Many of us put as little effort into improving our spiritual vision as I do into enhancing my physical eyesight. We don't make a habit of cleaning our spiritual eyeglasses at the start of the day. Lack of time or concern are usually the reasons we fail to do so, not realizing that our neglect of the necessary affects our view of the situations around us all day long. Soon the fingerprints of man and the dark smudges of difficulties we face accumulate until they mar our view of God and what He wants to accomplish in our lives. Everything we see is tainted with the grime of the world, instead of viewed through the clear possibilities we possess in Christ. We need to start each day with the cleansing power of His mercy and forgiveness, and then let our eyes light on the promises and power in His Word, to fill our minds and hearts with food for the day ahead.

In much the same way as I resented my glasses as I child, sometimes we balk at the restrictions God's view of things seems to put on our lives, longing for the freedom to live as we wish. But His Word has a corrective action that works behind the scenes, often unnoticed, until with increasing frequency our wants and desires come in line with His. What was once an annoyance we now hardly notice. As we age spiritually we realize in increasing measure the failure of our own abilities and our increased dependence on Him, as it becomes ever more apparent that we can't see on our own at all anymore, except in Him.

No matter how old I get, I'll always need my Father to clean my spiritual spectacles. But now I know the importance of making that process a regular part of my day. I know that viewing the world around me through God's perspective is the only way I can complete the work He has for me to do and fulfill His purpose and plan for my life. I've found out that the earlier in the day I put my spiritual glasses on, the better off I'll be. The details of what God has on the menu of life for me might suddenly come into focus and become a real feast for the eyes. I'll want to be able to read all about it for myself.

"The eye is the lamp of the body.
 If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light."
(Matthew 6:22 NIV)


  1. I became very near sighted in grade school. So I hope that passage won't apply to me!? I like the one about us 'seeing through a glass darkly' and then someday we will see. Stopping by from A to Z

  2. I forget to clean my glasses some mornings and am disappointed in my poor spiritual vision that day! What a difference it can make in your outlook and your ability to even help others make it through their day! Great post.

  3. the eyes are the windows to the soul--wonderful post

  4. Glasses are an interesting experience, I agree. Thank you for the sweet and honest post!

    Sarah Allen
    (my creative writing blog)

  5. Thank you for such a well-written, thoughtful post!

    I think the eyes say an awful lot about people.

    I was five years old when I got my first pair of glasses. They were little, baby blue, cat-eye frames. They had to extend the ear pieces because my eyelashes were so long that they bumped into the lenses. :)

    Have a great night!

  6. I also knew people from my childhood who resented their glasses. It's probably because they're always picked on because of those glasses. As years goes by, they still wore it and somehow, they also started loving wearing glasses.

    1. You are so right... the "4-eyes" curse! I know that I sure love mine, now! I'm pretty blind without them, lol! Thanks for reading. :)


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