Regaining Sight

After several months without glasses (I lost my last pair in Labrador, and haven’t had the money to replace them since), I was actually beginning to believe I could do without them. The cost of a new pair was quite high (from my perspective) and the money could be used to purchase me a new ipod.

It was then that my loving parents offered to pay for the eye exam and the new glasses (as long as I got a cheaper pair of frames). Well, I still thought it would be better spent replacing my dead nano, but they were adamant that it be spent on eyewear, so what was I to do?

It’s been several weeks since I actually got my new glasses back, and the newness of my ability to see has begun to sink in. When I got my compound lenses for nearsightedness and astigmatism, I was surprised to find out how much I could read that I thought was impossible, and how much my love of reading (and writing) had been hampered by my degrading sense of sight. I’m finding levels of “discipline” I never thougt I had, because simply, I can now see the words on a page without squinting.

What freaks me out, though, is that I hadn’t noticed the slide. Over the months, my reading had been slowing down to an eventual near stop (by my old standards), and I hadn’t really noticed. One of the central joys of my life (reading) had been slowing, and I didn’t even notice. If it hadn’t been for the demand that I get glasses, I might not have known, and if Mom didn’t expect to see me in glasses, I might even have bought glasses and deigned not to wear them.

There is a spiritual lesson to be learned here. At a few times, I have found my own ability to see and understand things God does hampered by the fact that I’ve been operating without glasses. Instead of seeing things in my own life through the revelation of scripture, I have used my own understanding of things, and when my understanding didn’t help much I found myself despairing. Sometimes I would even think that my own understanding had scriptural warrant, but didn’t (which I didn’t know as I wasn’t coming to scripture to learn, but to validate my own beliefs…. like leaving “unneeded” glasses on a shelf). Then, I placed myself under the authority of God, and over time, surprise, found that I had been wrong, and that I could see more clearly.

As some great saint once said, I believe in Christianity in the same way that I believe that the sun has risen, not simply because I see it, but that I can see things by it.

Author: Stephen Dawe

Steve is a part-time vocational elder Calvary Baptist Church, St. John's as well as a full-time student at Memorial University of Newfoundland, in the Religious Studies Department.