When I was just eight years old, I began wearing glasses to correct my terrible nearsightedness. Believing the glasses obscured my beauty, I got contact lenses as soon as my parents would let me (age thirteen, as it turned out). My vision continued to worsen, and when I was about 35, my optometrist told me at my late-afternoon appointment that I had “the worst prescription” he had seen all day.
The two patients before me had both been in their 70s.
So yeah. I’m basically blind without corrective lenses.
I am also VERY vain, so I wore the heck out of my contacts…and after I became a parent, I wore them way too much. I hated waking up in the middle of the night to nurse a baby and not being able to see, so I began wearing my contacts to bed.
Despite repeated warnings from aforementioned optometrist, I never stopped.
UNTIL… at the age of 38, a full twenty-five years after I began wearing contact lenses, my eyeballs just gave contacts a big “NOPE” one day. I couldn’t see right, I thought I had a brain tumor. My left eye hurt and I saw spots and “floaters.” I went to the eye doctor fearing the worst.
I got a diagnosis of “you wore your contacts to bed for 12 years straight and now your left eye is swollen and really, REALLY mad at you.”
After a couple weeks in my old glasses, I tried about a million different brands of contacts, but in the end, my left eye decided it was DONE. Done done done. So, I gave in and got new glasses. It was WEIRD going back to glasses after 25 years in contacts, but eventually I got used to them and came to even *like* they way they look, despite my vanity.
BUT. You guys.
Keeping them CLEAN soon became the bane of my existence. I SWEAR to you I do my best to avoid touching my lenses with my fingerprints, but somehow they became irritatingly smudged every darn day regardless. I found myself cleaning them so often that I eventually bought a special cleaning cloth with a clip on it that I could attach to my purse. Turns out, having glasses is PRETTY high-maintenance, if you wanna be able to SEE WHAT YOU’RE DOING.
UGH. I’ve never been much of a “Maintenance” person. I cannot even keep a potted plant alive. This is the sole reason why I don’t have pets, dye my hair, or get fancy manicures. Keeping three children and a house maintained is ALL I can do. Well, that, and keeping my GLASSES CLEAN. Sigh.
The other day I was walking out to my car, about to head out on some errand, when I stopped in the middle of my yard because I realized I couldn’t freaking see. I pulled my glasses off and peered at them…yep, they were disgustingly filthy. How had I been seeing through them for the previous few hours? How had I continued to work, to write stories, to use my computer while looking through such a dirty, cloudy lens?
The answer: my glasses had started out clean, but they’d gotten dirtier as they day went on, gradually picking up more and more filth minute by minute. As the smut accumulated, I just got used to it. I didn’t realize they were dirty until I walked out into the sun, and a light was shone on my the dirt that covered my lenses.
And I will be honest, you guys, I have never heard God speak to me OUT LOUD. But in that moment I heard a voice inside me say quite clearly: “Jenny, this is how you are seeing the world. You are looking at the world through DIRTY GLASSES.”
That’s it, that’s all I heard. But the Holy Spirit did not need to be any more clear. I KNEW what it meant.
My worldview was getting fuzzy. I was spending too much time getting my news from Facebook and my opinions from “popular” leaders and speakers and well, let’s face it, from people in my Facebook feed that I admired. They SEEMED like good people, they preached LOVELOVELOVE, they told me I was bad and needed to change.
And I had started to believe it. And just like with my physical glasses, as the smut accumulated, I just got used to it.
So, as I looked down at the dirty glasses in my hand and I heard the Lord speak to my heart, I knew I needed to wipe off my literal glasses with that special cloth I’d purchased and some cold, clear water and I needed to give my figurative glasses a serious wipe-down with some living water and some pages from the Word of God. What’s more I needed to keep that worldview-cleaning cloth attached to my person just like I kept my glasses-cleaning cloth attached to my purse.
When I was wearing my dirty glasses, I began to see the world through the clouded eyes of men. I started to doubt the truth I’d clung to my whole life, the truth I’ve read time again and believed from the Bible.
And Christians, from everything I’m seeing and hearing recently, most of us need to clean a whole lotta CRAP off of our glasses.
Whether the voices you are heeding are “conservative” or “liberal,” if they are not in line with the Word of God, they are WRONG. It doesn’t matter if it’s a respected Christian leader you once trusted or a self-help guru everyone adores, If the influences we are allowing to cloud our vision are saying things that the Bible has already called FALSE, it’s time to CLEAN OUR GLASSES.
When we find ourselves saying, “Well, I think abortion should be legal because it helps the mother have a better life,” we need to CLEAN OUR GLASSES.
When we nod our head along with “It’s not our job to care for refugees,” it’s time to CLEAN OUR GLASSES.
When we start to think, “I know the Bible SAYS sex before marriage is a sin, but that was written so long ago, and it’s not really realistic to expect that of us,” we need to CLEAN OUR GLASSES.
When we are sweep aside the poor treatment of those of another race, it’s time to CLEAN OUR GLASSES.
When we excuse our own sinful behaviors because we do so many other “Good” things, it’s time to CLEAN OUR GLASSES.
When we won’t help a family in poverty because we believe their bad choices brought them there, we need to CLEAN OUR GLASSES.
When we don’t confront our friends about their sinful choices because “it’s not my place to judge,” it’s time to CLEAN OUR GLASSES.
When we believe that we should “accept everyone as they are and not ask them to change their sinful behavior because they were born that way/we want to be loving/we’re not God,” we need to CLEAN OUR GLASSES.
When we let the world tell us that we are hateful for believing the truth of God’s word instead of popular opinion or the cultural narrative of the day, it’s time to CLEAN OUR GLASSES.
Friends, Paul told us in 1 Corinthians 2:12-14 that the world is NOT going to get us. They will think us fools and call us worse. They will tell us our glasses are completely non-functional while we know the lens with which we view the world has been created crystal-clear by the One who sees all.
Christians, we will be mocked and shunned and hated (all the while being accused of hate) for not accepting sin as the norm.
That day on my front lawn, God extended his grace and mercy to me by making me aware that I had allowed my glasses to become FILTHY. Christian, please allow Him to extend it to you too. Get off of Facebook and get into God’s word. Get off your phone and get on your knees. Let’s love our neighbors by praying for them, AND let’s ask God to fill us with love and spur us to LOVING ACTION. We CAN serve others without condoning sin. We can LOVE by helping others find change and salvation.
But we can’t do any of it if we can’t see two feet in front of us.
Please join me as I clean my glasses. Then let’s act on what God shows us through fresh, sparkling lenses, and let’s change the world with Christ’s love, and not the world’s version.