I’m starting to wonder if I’ll ever write about anything besides my recent surgery and recovery…I guess God has a lot to teach me from that experience!
I mentioned before that part of my peripheral sight has been restored (thank You, God!). That sight has improved ever-so-slightly each day. Once this week, I even made out the actual colors of our shower curtain–brown! green! That blurry shower curtain was the loveliest thing I think I’ve ever seen! My sight seems to be the best in bright sunlight and I luxuriate outdoors, closing my right eye and testing to see what I can actually see out of my left. I make a game out of it with the kids, asking them to wave their hands around, hold up objects so I can try to guess their identity. Mostly I just marvel that I can see anything at all. The neighbors probably think I’ve lost my mind as they watch me stumble around the backyard, one eye closed straining to see the shapes of the play set, the garden swing, the tree. I nearly gave myself a concussion today as I tripped over one of the kids’ toys and fell into the fence…not my most graceful moment.
I hesitate to even mention any “down sides” from my surgery. After all, being given even the tiniest bit of sight in my once-completely-blind eye is such a gift. But, there have been some less-than-wonderful side effects. First, I’ve had a headache from sun up to sun down every day since my surgery. Not a migraine, but a dull ache behind my eyes. Some of that is just part of the healing process, I’m sure. But, it wears on me as the day progresses.
A second “issue” is that my peripheral vision has changed. When I’m sitting in my own home or wandering the back yard testing my field of sight, it’s interesting and fun. But, when I’m in the grocery or driving or trying to navigate some place I’ve never been…well, it’s confusing and sometimes aggravating. I run into things. Or think things are closer than they are. I flinch a lot when people move around quickly. I see things that aren’t really there…or are there, but not in the place I think they are. My strategy the last two days has been to simply close my left eye…returning me to a more familiar field of vision.
I can have the same problem with my spiritual sight. When I first gave my heart to the Lord, everything looked different…my parents, my brother, my friends, my teachers, my pastor, my purpose, my identity. I saw everything in the light of God’s love for me through Christ. And for a few weeks, I wanted to share what God had done for me–His love– with everyone. But not everyone was as enthusiastic about my new-found Love. I met doubt and fear and out-right hostility. Suddenly, seeing everyone through Christ’s eyes wasn’t as exciting and encouraging. It was hard to share His love with others. Lots of people didn’t want to receive that same love. I found myself discouraged. Actually, truth-be-told, I really didn’t want to see others the way that God saw them. It was easier to be blind…blind to the needs and hurts of others, blind to rejection, blind to their weaknesses and faults…blind to my own selfishness.
And if I’m really, really, brutally honest…I still have that same problem. I hear an encouraging, edifying, soul-lifting message on Sunday morning or on a podcast or the radio…I read an amazing book like this one, and I see God differently. I see His truth, I see His love. I want to live it, share it. And I start out so enthusiastically and energetically…then reality sets in. Making a list of 1,000 gifts is easy…until you have a string of days that are challenging and tiring and wearing and I don’t really want to discipline my mind to focus on the things above. Giving to the needs of others is energizing…until the car breaks down and the plumbing needs repairs and giving to others starts to hurt because I have to go without.
My heart sight–like my physical sight–is best in direct Son Light. It’s the only way (I’m slowly learning) to really, really see how God sees, see what He sees. To love as He loves…I need Him to be my Light. I can choose to remain comfortable…shutting my heart to truth, to learning as He reveals Himself to me. It’s safer and comes with less risk of getting hurt. Or, I can embrace my ever-changing periphery…letting God blur the lines of what I once understood and trust that in my stumbling and bumbling, He will light my path.
Lord, thank You for peripheral vision…both physical and spiritual. Thank You for using all things to teach me. Help me to trust You when I feel uncomfortable. Help me to lean on You when I can’t see clearly. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.