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.