We are just a few days away from the start of school. Frazzled moms and dads are counting it down! And it’s one of those really beautiful days as I write, one of those days that seems to come just before school starts and hang around after school starts when you can’t go out and enjoy it.
It always seemed to me that the really good days came after school started as a way to taunt me. By now I don’t think it is personal, but I still look out and go “wow” when we have this kind of day. And since I’m not in school you might catch me outside with my face turned up to the sun (please do not tell my skin cancer doctor) whenever we have one of these beauties.
Lately I am even more appreciative of the beauty that is all around us. Mostly because I can now see clearly without glasses for the first time I remember in my life. A few days ago I had cataracts removed and lenses implanted and it is truly amazing, this difference between what I see and how I used to see. I wore glasses since early in first grade (when the teacher punished me for not reading the blackboard – that I couldn’t see) and my lenses have been thick, heavy, ugly and worse. I’ve tried contacts, everything to see well and clearly and I really thought that I did. My eye doctors have been very good to me through my life. But now that I actually see with excellent vision, I am aware that most of my life I have perceived less than was out there. And that has made me stop to think about something more serious than my eyesight. I wonder how much of what I have perceived and been sure I understood has had just as much a fuzzy edge as my vision used to have.
One of the things Jesus used to say a lot was, “He who has eyes, let him see.” Jesus is not hard to grasp here, he thinks we look at things and don’t perceive them correctly. We don’t see them for what they are, but we think we do. And so many times we see what we expect to see and fail to really look closely. I took an online certification test and got to one question that was so obvious…so I hit the right answer and went on before I finally noticed that the sentence I read as “may not” only said “may” and I missed it. I didn’t see it, but it wasn’t my eyes that were at fault, it was my thinking.
So much effort has been given to establishing ideas – such as perception is reality, or there are no absolute truths, so it’s your truth and my truth, even good and evil depend on your point of view so we can’t judge other peoples’ choices – that I think we need to listen to Jesus here. Let him who has eyes to see, see! Open them up, test it, check it out, examine it, look for what is real instead of settling for you expect to see.
You have eyes…see!
Bruce Thweatt may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.