Fix My Eyes
“Which is better, one or two? Two or three? One or three?” I sit as still as possible in the leather chair staring through the phoropter as he clicks through a variety of lenses. The letters projected on the wall remain clear through the process. The eye doctor pulls the simple machine away from my face and flips the light back on. “Everything looks good,” he said, “there doesn’t seem to be any change in your distance vision this year.” Then, he hands me a card and asks me to read the miniscule letters across the bottom. I pull the card a little farther from my face and squint a minute, then laugh. “Is it that time?” I ask as he hands me a sample pair of reading glasses. I slide them on and immediately the tiny letters are clear. The difference is surprisingly great, and I purchase a pair before I leave the office. Can I read without them? I can. But it is so much easier to read and write with them!
The morning summer sun shines through the glass door into the hallway. I scan my badge, then juggle my bag and coffee to pull the door open. School starts next week. The halls are as quiet as they have been all summer as teachers are trying their best to soak up last minute vacations and time with their families. I’m ready for the hustle and bustle to return. The floors are set to be waxed soon. Desks, furniture and curriculum have been moved to new rooms. This year many of our teachers are moving classrooms, so those of us that work in the summer have used checklist after checklist to make sure things are in order before their return. But as I glance down the hall, I spot a framed QR code from a program that hasn’t been on our campus in over a year. I take it down from the wall, wondering how often my eyes had scanned over it not seeing it, not noticing it as I focused on other things.
“Mom, have you seen my brown shoes?” he hollered down from upstairs as he packed up for school the next day. I quickly glanced across the living room where I was working, laptop open and TV on. His shoes are often found where he left them - just beside the couch where he sheds them each day when he walks in the door. They weren’t there this time, though, and a few minutes later, I found myself standing in his room helping him look and trying to help him remember the last time he’d needed or worn them. Very quickly, I spotted them - in his closet, but not where we thought they should be. We tease about “mom eyes,” but there is much truth held in this phrase in our house.
In Mark 8, we read of Jesus healing a blind man outside Bethsaida. Jesus leads him out of the village, then coats the man’s eyes with mud made with dirt and spit. When the man opens his eyes, He tells Jesus and those watching, “I see people; they look like trees.” Jesus touches his eyes a second time. This time when he removes his hands from the man’s eyes, the man is able to see clearly.
The audio version of this story plays as I stand at the bathroom counter getting ready for the day. I pause the reading. I am stuck thinking about our eyes. Our physical eyes fail us often! I wore glasses or contacts every day of my life until I had LASIK surgery a few years ago. But, how much more often do our spiritual eyes fail us, too? I long to see the world and others as Jesus did, and I begin to think about the steps toward clarity within the blind man’s sight. First, he trusts Jesus to lead him outside the village. I begin to wonder, do I trust Jesus to lead me away from my comfort – even if it is to open my eyes from blindness? Truth be told, I’m cozy and snug in my current place, even if I don’t always have the same eyes, the same vision of others, or the same perception of world around me as the Lord.
My mind then wanders to the blind man’s comment saying the people look like trees - this tells me things were beginning to take shape, but still unclear. I think through decisions our family is making, through conversations I’d like to have, through activities I feel prompted to do. I often feel like the next right thing is coming, but it’s not quite clear yet. I need clearer vision to discern my next steps.
Finally, the blind man’s vision is clear! He sees it all! I can imagine the joy, the brightness, the beauty!
Lord, allow me to see with your vision. To see others as you see them, as you created them. To glimpse a clear picture of the path you’ve set before me. To perceive the opportunity to love others as you love them. Open my eyes, Lord, I want to see as you do.
A few minutes later, the car stereo plays as I drive to work. “Fix my eyes… on you… on you,” the words of the For King and Country sing out. Yes, Lord, fix my eyes on you today.