Articles

Learning to See

We got the note a couple of weeks ago.  In the precise handwriting of a second-grade school teacher were the words, “Savannah is having trouble seeing.  She needs to have her vision checked.”  This was paper-clipped to the school nurse’s report that recommended an immediate visit to an optometrist.  We called, made appointments, and last Friday the day came to take my seven-year old to her first visit to the eye-doctor.  Now it must be stated that Savannah has always had a unique way of ‘seeing’ things.  She expresses her opinion in blunt, unashamed statements that are sometimes funny when they come out of the mouth of pixie-faced second-grader.  She was no different at the eye-doctor.  Asked to read the eye chart, Savannah said, “I know the top letter is an ‘E’ because I saw it when I came in.”  When asked about the fourth line down she squinted and said, “F, Z, an upside-down A, a squiggly line, and is that a sideways number 4?”  No doubt about it the kid needed glasses.

As the doctor did her best to find a prescription that would work, she had Savannah look through the ocular device that looks like a robotic mardi-gras mask and asked “Which looks better, one (flip the lens) or two?”
Savannah quickly replied, “Neither.”
“Three or Four?”
Savannah Shrugged.
“Five or Six?”
“I guess six.”
“Seven or eight?”
“Ellie wears number seven in softball!”
This was going to be a long doctor’s visit.  The doctor, with much patience and expertise, finally evaluated Savannah’s vision enough to get a prescription.  Savannah’s vision was poor.  The doc told us that at first reading was going to be hard for her because her eyes had never had to work to focus.  She also said walking and balance might prove to be problems over the first several days because the ground would look different to her but that eventually her eyes would actually strengthen and adjust.  We thanked the doctor and ordered the glasses and were told they would be in next week, which to an excited seven-year-old means eternity.

We picked up the glasses earlier this week and I got to pick up Savannah from school the very next day.  Usually on the way home the child will talk my ear off, but she was abnormally quiet on this trip.  I looked in my rear-view mirror and discovered why.  There sat my my daughter, eyes wide as they took in the scenery that passed by her window.  She could see birds flying in the air; leaves falling to the ground; a squirrel scampering up a tree; a cat sun-bathing on it’s master’s porch.  Nothing escaped her vision, and she was too amazed to even speak.

I was reminded how often we go through life without actually seeing it.  We get so caught up in the blur of our daily schedule that we fail to see the blessings and opportunities that God places in our path.  When was the last time you paused to look at the changing colors of fall?  When did you last look up to see the starry host of night and marvel at how big God is?  Did you notice the beggar on the street?  The elderly lady in the grocery store?  The clerk at the gas station?  Blessings and opportunities missed because we fail to see.

I don’t know about you, but I need my spiritual vision checked.  My eyes are lazy and don’t want to do the work of focusing on the things of God.  Will you come with me to the great physician?  I warn you, the results may be hard to handle at first.  We may find ourselves off-balance because we are not used to seeing so many needs.  We may even stumble over ourselves because we are not used to seeing the path God has laid out for us.  But see we must.  So join me as I pray to the Holy Spirit of God, “Lord open my eyes, that I may see.”

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