Clear Lenses

Every contact lens wearer knows the joy of “new contacts day.“ Oh, the delight of opening that sterile, sealed container and slipping new, pristine contacts onto our weary eyeballs! The clarity, the comfort, the EASE!

For those of you who don’t wear them, contacts deteriorate with each wearing. I am supposed to change mine once a month, but with dust, eye makeup, and normal every day living, I don’t even make it three weeks before the need for new ones becomes overwhelming. And it’s shorter in pollen season! Dirty contacts hurt the eyes, compromise your eyesight, and are ineffective in their mission of correcting your vision.

Jesus has much to teach us about keeping our vision clear:

John 9 (The Message)

 1-2 Walking down the street, Jesus saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked, “Rabbi, who sinned: this man or his parents, causing him to be born blind?”

3-5 Jesus said, “You’re asking the wrong question. You’re looking for someone to blame. There is no such cause-effect here. Look instead for what God can do. We need to be energetically at work for the One who sent me here, working while the sun shines. When night falls, the workday is over. For as long as I am in the world, there is plenty of light. I am the world’s Light.”

Jesus chose to heal the man’s blindness as a testimony to God’s power. But the townspeople and Pharisees refused to see what was right before their eyes. The tried to claim the man was never actually blind. They even interrogated his parents. The real issue?

Jesus had healed the blind man on the sabbath, breaking the law. The Pharisees felt it was their privilege and their position to sit in judgement and ignore the miracle in front of them. In their spiritual blindness, they couldn’t see Jesus for who he was. They judged him according to their rules, and found him to be inadequate.

Have you ever been guilty of judging someone?

The reaction of the Pharisees reminds us that being judgmental is akin to leaving dirty contacts in our eyes and then looking in the mirror and not seeing our own flaws. That is how the Pharisees see things…through the dirty lens of bias and entitlement.

39 Jesus then said, “I came into the world to bring everything into the clear light of day, making all the distinctions clear, so that those who have never seen will see, and those who have made a great pretense of seeing will be exposed as blind.”

40 Some Pharisees overheard him and said, “Does that mean you’re calling us blind?”

41 Jesus said, “If you were really blind, you would be blameless, but since you claim to see everything so well, you’re accountable for every fault and failure.”

Be careful of your own lenses. God calls us see our brother in the same way that he looks upon us: with the lens of mercy, grace, equality, and acceptance. With that clarity, we will learn to love as God loves, and accept one another as he accepts us. Lord, open our eyes!

I can see clearly now…

Binocularvision

Binoculars are fascinating. Heavy and clunky, they contain a series of lenses and prisms that capture light and image, flip them around, and bring them to the eyes with clarity and a close-up view that is impossible to the naked eye.

In case you are curious about the science of binoculars, read this from https://www.explainthatstuff.com/binoculars.html:

Binoculars are simply two telescopes side by side, one for each eye. But there’s a catch. When light rays from a distant object pass through a convex lens, they cross over. That’s why distant things sometimes look upside down if you look at them through a magnifying glass. The second lens doesn’t sort out that problem. So binoculars have a pair of prisms (large wedges of glass) inside them to rotate the image through 180 degrees. One prism rotates the image through 90 degrees (flips it onto its side), then the next prism rotates it through another 90 degrees (flips it onto its side again), so the two prisms effectively turn it upside down. The prisms can either be arranged in a back-to-back arrangement (known as roof prisms) or at 90 degrees (known as Porro prisms).

Are we clear now?

All I know is that owning a pair of binoculars on the Outer Banks is almost essential. There are many times when I see something in the water, or across the harbor at the club house that needs a closer look, and my handy binoculars do the trick. Our clubhouse parking area is the local heliport for emergencies, and I have observed several take-offs and landings there. It takes a moment to focus the binoculars, but then everything is clear.

Ephesians 1 (The Message)

15-19 That’s why, when I heard of the solid trust you have in the Master Jesus and your outpouring of love to all the followers of Jesus, I couldn’t stop thanking God for you—every time I prayed, I’d think of you and give thanks.

But I do more than thank. I ask—ask the God of our Master, Jesus Christ, the God of glory—to make you intelligent and discerning in knowing him personally, your eyes focused and clear, so that you can see exactly what it is he is calling you to do, grasp the immensity of this glorious way of life he has for his followers, oh, the utter extravagance of his work in us who trust him—endless energy, boundless strength!

This prayer that Paul lifted up for his friends in Ephesus is one we should continue today. We should ask God to make us intelligent and discerning. We should ask him to help us know him personally. Especially today, we ask that our eyes are focused and clear enough to see EXACTLY what it is he is calling us to do.

This is my prayer for you. You have a calling. You have a divine appointment! May God grant you binocularvision so that you might see and know your calling in the world. May he grant you clarity of sight so that you know without a doubt what actions you should take, what words you should utter, and what step to take next. Focus in! He will show you the way.

I can’t stop thanking God for you.

Up close and personal.