Monday, August 15, 2011

Spiritual Eyes

'Snellen eye chart' photo (c) 2011, Julian-Courtney Michael Luk√°cs - license:
This morning I have an early appointment at the eye doctor. Trips to the eye doctor are nothing new to me, since I started seeing an optometrist in pre-school due to an eye injury. I was about three when I got my first pair of eye glasses. Eye patches, glasses, drops, surgery, and many, many trips to the eye doctor. 

As I've gotten older, my eyes have changed. Now it's bifocals, diabetes, and age instead of lazy eye or trauma. 

I used to be able to see pretty well without glasses, but wore them to assist my eyes in working together. Now I need my glasses to read, to watch tv, to type. My eyes need a little time to wake up and focus in the morning now, and I can now sense some eye-strain if I work too long without giving my eyes a rest.

As I contemplated these changes, I realize that my physical eyes weren't the only ones to morph and change over the years. My spiritual eyes have changed since I first became a Christ-follower at age 11. I've prayed before that God would open the eyes of my heart, to help me see clearly with my spiritual eyes.

Some things haven't changed that much, though they've gotten clearer, doctrinal issues clearly spelled out in Scripture, the commandments to do, don't do, love, give, believe. Those are the giant top rows of the eye chart that blaze out like a neon E 

But other lines have blurred a bit, ones that involve personal convictions. I come from a fairly strict, rigid spiritual upbringing that placed a lot of emphasis on the way you dressed, the music you listened to, the people you associated with. 

Those are the lines that are smudging for me. I'm striving to be more about grace, forgiveness, and freedom than about judgment, constriction, and condemnation. I'm learning that there are all kinds of people who are God's children, who come to God as broken and individual as I, and whom God loves just as much as He loves me.

I'm liking these new eyes, because I'm learning that as the recipient of much grace, I have grace to offer others, can learn from them, and can receive grace from them as well.

So, how are your eyes, both physical and spiritual?


  1. My physical eyes aren't great. Keep getting worse each year. My spiritual eyes are always changing - God gives me a new perspective each day. My prayer is to see more and more like Him. I've got a LOOOONG way to go!

  2. I'd get laser surgery, but I can't stand anything near my eyes, yet I wear contacts--but I have control. What's that say about me? lol

    God is always giving me new eye charts and testing my sight. Each year I feel like it's getting better, no laser surgery there either. It's a process. :)

  3. I havw great vision...physically. Spiritually I often feel like Paul...why do I do those things I don't want to do, etc.

    I pray I am seeing thing more spiritually aligned with how Christ did as I grow in my faith. I really hope so...but there are days.


  4. My physical eyes have improved since university, I'm now on the weakest prescription glasses and rarely wear them. Like you, I'm working on throwing away the judgement and replacing it with grace. Perhaps it's our upbringing that made us so judgemental, but I'm sure glad God is helping me see the error of those ways.

  5. I can relate to this, Erica. Although I was raised in a very Biblical (in a good sense) family, I never entered a Christian bookstore until I was an adult.

    Now, I'm more open to anyone who shares belief in the Bible as opposed to someone who shares my religion. I love that God has pushed me to reach beyond my own church while grounding me in it at the same time.

  6. I think part of my problem is, like when I was a little boy running around with a towel baby-pinned around my neck, I think I'm Superman. I think I have x-ray vision; that I can see inside a person's heart and know what's wrong with them. And, like Superman, I think I am the one to fix what's wrong with them.

    Then God comes lovingly alongside me and says, "Kevin, Kevin, Kevin. You're nearly blind to such things for you don't see them in yourself nearly as much as you ought. You just keep taking the eye test and maybe, just maybe one day you'll pass it. Until then, leave the "fixing" to Me."

  7. This past spring when I went to the eye doctor, he suggested bifocals, but I whined about not being ready for that step yet. He said he'd give me another year. :)

    The letter E is morphing into a letter G as my spiritual eyesight is becoming more focused. I'm striving to show more grace because God wasn't selective when He sent his son to die for us.

  8. God is always working on my spiritual eyes. He gave me the lenses I needed to see the shutdown of Heartsong in the right light and corrected my focus when I started to get down about it. He's the best. :-)

  9. Wow, I really loved the comments today. I'm glad I'm not alone in the spiritual need for eyeglasses. :)

    Katie, I think you do a beautiful job of seeing like Jesus. Your discoveries about what it means to live by faith have encouraged me.

  10. Jessica, I'm not a laser surgery candidate, but I think I'd be too chicken anyway. :) And you're right about there being no quick fix to my spiritual eyes. I'll just keep taking the eye chart tests alongside you. :)

  11. Wendy, you and me and Paul have a lot in common. I often wonder why I'm doing the thing I don't want to do and ignoring the stuff I know I should do. I'm planning on talking to Paul when I get to heaven. I have a lot to ask him. :) I hear his eyes weren't that great either.

  12. Eileen, I'm sure our upbringing had a lot to do with it, but along with you, I'm glad we can shed some of those things that are hindering us and move forward with God's help.

  13. Jill, I absolutely loved this!

    "I love that God has pushed me to reach beyond my own church while grounding me in it at the same time."

    I'm there with you!

  14. Kevin, not only could I see little Superman racing through the house with his mom's best guest-towel slung around his neck, I could also see God's gentle reminder that covers us all. Sure am glad there are make-up eye tests with God. If it was a once and done pass/fail, I'd be in trouble.

  15. Lisa, you're so right. If God chose on merit who would receive Christ, none of us would pass muster, me least of all.

    Isn't Grace a beautiful thing? Only God could think up something so profound and then give it away.

  16. Jen, I'll admit, my eyesight got a bit blurry with that announcement, too. God had to adjust my prescription a little bit.