Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Utter Blindness

This morning is a great morning to remind myself of how blind I really am. I blame my mom.
This is because my Dad has superb vision. Only now, at age 65, he might have to get reading glasses for night time. Waaah, poor thing, I told him recently how I just feel so sorry for him. Ya right. Yes, a bit of sarcasm here, blended with love, of course.

My Mom, however, was headed for double bifocals before she was old enough to give up her baby dolls. But, then they came out with these new-fangled things called "contacts". As the story goes...my Grammy didn't know how blind her eldest daughter really was, but when the optometrist questioned her about her soon-to-be kindergartener, it hit her. "Well, she does describe all the adults we know by the shoes they wear, ‘Mama, where is the lady with the red shoes?’” Little did my Grammy know it was because my Mom couldn't see far enough to see the adult’s faces. Whoops.

So, I guess I drew the short straw when it comes to vision. I was older when it hit me enough to actually affect me though. And to be completely honest I was way more freaked out about how it would affect me socially, than my dumb ol’ eyesight. I had heard talk of braces in my near future as well and I couldn't imagine getting the dreaded “double ugly” within such a short time frame. But, I did. Awesome.

By sixth grade I had them both. You remember sixth grade, don’t you? That was the year. The first year of middle school. The year to make any sort of social impact. The year to meet all the cute boys and become the popular giant you were destined to be. And I got braces to go along with my glasses. I could just see my dreams of being on the homecoming court fade away like my acid washed jeans.

And to make matters worse, I was very much an athlete. I played all types of sports all the time. But, my parents were about to cross the line. They wanted me to get those goggles you’re supposed to wear instead of glasses so you can see better during sports. Um, no. Not happening.

I think Kareem Abdul Jabaar was the only person I'd ever seen wearing them and I bet even he got made fun of by the guys over 6 foot 10 that could take him. Nope, I can squint real hard and see the outline of the scoreboard just fine, thank you very much. Lie. Somehow (thank you, Jesus!) I didn't have to get the goggles. I think I appealed to the waste of money it would be...smart girl, eh?

That was many moons ago, friend, but my eyesight has been steadily failing on me ever since. I am now legally blind without my contacts. Yet, I still haven't caught up to my Mom. Wow.

You may be wondering how this all fits into my current situation. After all, I have socially recovered from the “double ugly” (for the most part) and am many removed from the potential of winning the Kareem Abdul Jabaar look-a-like contest. So, what gives?

Well, I will tell you. This morning isn’t just any ol’ morning. This morning, is a big morning along this medical road I’ve been (reluctantly) traveling. I have another appointment with UT Southwestern Research Hospital...this time with the OBGYN. No...I am not even going there with any of the stirrups jokes. I am still in denial about that part of my day, thank you very much. I am, however, hoping this doctor, whom I have met before and was impressed with, will be able to help us figure out what else could still be wrong with me.

But, I am doing my very best not to get my hopes up. Hard to do, but I'm trying. In order to prepare my heart, I started my day like I have started almost every day for the past few weeks. I went outside to my backyard...my haven...in the still quiet moments of the early morning. Long before anyone needed their Cheerios poured or their hineys wiped, I escaped outside and laid down on my patio couch. And then I did it. I slowly removed those once dreaded spectacles off my face. These things I absolutely loathed having to get some 20 years ago and now I can't much make it the bathroom without. I removed them, rubbed my eyes a minute, blinked repeatedly…and then I just…stared.

I stared out into my backyard full of trees and I just…sat…still. When I do this, my environment immediately becomes a huge blur. For those of you with good vision (i.e. the "cool kids") you may not know what this feels like. But, for the rest of us, this blur is our constant reality. For me, I can barely even tell that there are any trees in my backyard. Honestly, I have probably ninety gigantic oak trees scattered throughout my backyard, and without my glasses, I can barely even see to distinguish even one of them. It is all a blurry mess of green and brown and sunlight. Yes, friend, in my backyard sunlight is its very own color.

I know the wind is blowing the leaves, but not because I see them moving. In fact, I have to squint real hard to even be able to tell the leaves are there. I surely can't distinguish one tree from another, much less one leaf from another.

Then, it hits me.

Just like God always does.

This is how I see things. This is my vision of my life.

All muddled, unclear, not fully known, misunderstood. Blurry doesn’t even begin to cover it. And today of all days, I am thankful for this Truth: God sees perfectly. Today especially I thanked God that He knows my life and my world so clearly. (1 Cor. 13:12) I only know in part, He knows fully. I can't even tell that these giants are trees, friend. Yet He knows every single striation of every single leaf out there. If one falls and gets trampled underfoot, He knows it. He not only sees the wind clearly as it waves each leaf, I am pretty sure I remember reading something about Him halting that very same wind.

So, I talked to Him for a while about my fears, my insecurities, and my desire to see more clearly than I do. I reminded myself that today's appointment may go well, and it may not. Either way God is good. Either way, I still only see a muddled, blurry mess. I cannot control that. And friend, neither can you.

I then... put on...my glasses (insert a few bars of the Hallelujah chorus!) and instantly, I can see again! It’s a darn near miracle.

And right then, I mean, that very second, I thanked God that this is how He sees each moment of my day; with absolute perfect clarity. I am so thankful for that. Now...here's praying I remember that all day today...on the loooong drive to the hospital...in the stirrups...in pain and out of pain…receiving good news or the other kind of news. He sees clearly. I do not. He has this all taken care of. I need not worry. (Matthew 6)

And friend, the same goes for you. I don’t care if you have had 20/20 vision your entire life or if you were like my Mom, and could hardly see your own toddler hand waving in front of your face. We are all blind. Even when we think we can see; we can’t. We absolutely need to rely on the only One who can. Trust Him. Believe Him. Surrender to Him. And I will try to do the same. We are in this together!

He sees all there is to see. And that is all you and I need to know.

Thank you, God. Thank you. For your vision, your perfection, your wisdom, your everything. And, in the spirit of full honesty, thank you for sparing me from the sports goggles, too. J

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