Saturday, May 3, 2008

Reading Glasses

When I was in seventh grade, I failed the school vision test. It was the simple test in which one would place his face up to a plastic thing with two lenses and tell the school nurse what he saw inside. The problem for me was not in telling her which direction the "E's" were facing. My problem was figuring out which box held the red dot. There were two boxes--a large box A and a smaller box B. The red dot was supposed to appear in one of the two and one had to simply announce where the dot fell. For me, the dot was not a box. No, sadly, my red dot appeared way to the left of box A. There was no way this was actually correct, and I was too naive to take my 50:50 chance and guess a box. I made the mistake of being honest and admitting that my dot was not even close to being inside either box.
My stupid left-wing red dot caused me to fail the vision test, so I then had to go to an optometrist. He informed me that I could focus fine. The problem was that the muscles in my eye would sometimes strain, causing headaches. It was decision time. The only thing I needed corrective lenses for was to read. So, I could choose reading glasses, or, I could go with contacts. My eye doctor and the nurses strongly promoted the glasses. Since I technically didn't need the lenses all the time, glasses would be much easier. However, being the super trendy junior high kid I was, I wanted the contacts. Oh, and maybe I forgot to mention I am fairly stubborn and a know-it-all. So, amidst the urging of not only my mother, but also the nurses and doctor, I held steadfast to my decision and was fitted for contact lenses.
The lenses arrived at the office a week later and I returned to pick up my exciting new accessory. I had ordered a year's supply of the lenses simply because buying in bulk offered a discount. The nurses instructed me in proper wear and care of my lenses, and I was off. Back home to explore the new world in which I would be seeing through my new contacts. For the first week, I felt super cool and wanted to tell everyone about my new lenses. However, one day upon returning from school, I tried taking out my right lens, only to discover it would not budge. I tried for a while, poking, prodding, and rubbing my eye to no avail. Finally, I called in the reinforcements--my dad. I laid down on the couch and he attacked my eye. He tried really hard until we finally decided there was nothing we could do. At this point, my eye resembled the color of a tomato and I was not too fond of my stupid contacts.
Just when we thought all hope was lost, I noticed something in the inner corner of my eye (you know, the pink area in which your nighttime gunk collects). I moved closer to the mirror and felt for whatever treasure awaited my discovery. Low and behold, the treasure proved to be my contact. It had folded into a little wad and lodged in the corner tissue of my eye. What the heck? I was so hacked. I swore that day to never again wear the blasted contacts. A year's supply or not, I was done.
Lenses. Pretty much everyone I know has previously worn or currently wears some type of corrective lenses. They range from contacts, Glasses, Bifocals, or even the infamous Rec Specs. Yes, you know what I'm talking about. The thing about lenses is they give you a different perspective of the world around you. Lenses are used to refocus light in order that you may be able to better see objects in your world. The funny thing is that the objects may or may not be where you think they are. The light may show the image to be above, below, behind, infront, smaller, or larger than whatever you are actually viewing. It's pretty crazy physics.
Every so often we will discuss what we think Jesus would be like were he in human form today. I like to think of him as a khaki shorts, t-shirt, chaco wearing guy that's just here to do help and love everyone he can. I think he would have a normal hair cut and more than likely might wear corrective lenses. Jesus might wear the cool plastic fashionable frames or just simply those that don't have a frame. Who knows?
The important thing is to realize Jesus would have his own perspective of the world around him. Jesus' would still see us all doing crazy things. He could not avoid seeing all that happens: the way we treat ourselves, the way we treat others, and the way we spend our time, thoughts, money, and energy. Those things would still be there. However, I know that were I to look through Jesus' lenses and see his perspective, I would see people that need help. I would see people that need love. I would see people that not only need to receive love, but also need to learn how to give love. I would see people that deserve love no matter where they are or what they do. I would see things differently. My "lenses" would be off and I would realize how I probably need to chunk mine out the window and permanently adopt the lenses of Jesus.
I think were I able to put on the lenses of Jesus, I would not get so upset when someone steps right in front of me at a concert. I would not get so mad when someone cuts me off on the road. I would not even get so pissy when someone tells me I'm wrong. I would better be able to deal with other people and their moods, and I would also have more patience when the drive thru line takes longer than I think it should.
Putting on the lenses of Jesus is something we can all strive to do. It's not easy. It's not permanent. Just as contacts should be taken out each night and put back in each day, (notice I said should b/c really, who does this?)..we have to wake up each day with the motivation to view the world around through the eyes of Jesus. We can start looking to show love to others rather than seeing their faults. We can start experiencing joy at the fact that we have been given another opportunity to experience this gift of life. More importantly, we can get off our glutes and start doing something to make this world a better place.

What lenses are we looking through?

Where do we find the lenses of Christ?

What does it take to truly put them on?

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