I’ve worn glasses since I was in the fifth grade. I finally got contact lenses in high school, but I hated the “four-eyes” moniker with the ugly glasses I had. I avoided glasses for a full year by borrowing the pair of the boy who sat next to me.
Seeing, even at a young age, wasn’t as important as how I was seen.
When I finally got contacts, they were tough to get used to. My eyes would water uncontrollably, and the lenses would swim to some other place in my eye where it was of no use at all. It took months for my eyes to get used to them.
Once I’d gotten to that point, I didn’t want to take them off. I was back to blurry vision or my ugly glasses.
I never considered laser surgery until I was older, but by then my eye doctor said it would be wiser to wait till I needed cataract surgery.
I wear my contacts religiously. Except during COVID. Often, just staying at home, I don’t want to mess with them. I see well close up, so I can read without contacts or glasses. My vision becomes wonky at a distance, so I’ll wear my glasses at home.
It seems I still care too much how I’m seen. If I’m going out, I’ll put in my lenses.
The funny part is even with my contacts, I can’t see close up. So I need readers to work on my computer or read.
Seeing clearly is a struggle.
My twin sister just got cataract surgery in both eyes. She was nearsighted, like me, and found that once she had surgery, she could see things at a distance really well.
Her close-up vision, however, suffered. She now needs readers to see what’s right in front of her nose.
Just like me.
Vision is such an important thing. Being able to see clearly is something we value. Because we want to believe what we see.
What I forget is that the lenses through which I perceive life are not like the lenses of others.
Our lenses are shaped by our stories, where we grew up, what was valued, what was discouraged, how those around us viewed differences. Our filters aren’t clear. They’re clouded by what we’ve learned, how we perceive and value others, and our own value system.
What I may believe to be clear and understandable may be blurry to someone else. What others may see as uncompromising appears gray to me.
God steps into this with a value system that crosses lens lines. Looking at the world and people He made His way–with compassion, love, and forgiveness. It’s why Jesus came; to show us God, and to be able to live and love in His power.
We’re not good at it. We put our personal lenses on and see through our own pain or misunderstanding. But if we allow God to help us see others as He does, we’ll put more value on who they are rather than who we believe they represent.
The prescription for those right kind of glasses?
They’re worth hanging onto–no matter how others perceive you.