I will never forget the trauma which my vision problems gave me growing up. I had myopia and astigmatism which made every eye test a humiliating experience. Nearly every kid in the class had better vision than I did. They would read off the letters like brushing their teeth while I stumbled and fumbled through the blurry figures happy to guess one or two right. Needless to say, I was put in the front seat. Despite these yearly reminders of my poor eyesight, I refused to wear my glasses because they were so thick. Eventually I wore contact lenses for a decade and even that eventually became very impractical for me.
Fast Forward to the Present.
As one of the early beneficiaries of laser surgery, I now only use glasses to drive at night and still do not need reading glasses despite heading toward six decades on this eye test we call earth. It occurs to me that when it comes to serving God and others, not to mention bringing glory to God as is our mission in life, we all need glasses in one way or another.
We know that the purpose of corrective lenses is to bring the world into better focus for those who have all sorts of visual defects and limitations. They shift light rays so that they are refracted correctly on the retina making up for the particular problems in the eye of the user. These lenses do not cure eye problems in the eye but rather compensate for them by re-focusing light where it should be.
The idea behind using glasses is that the user is able to compensate for his or her vision problems through their use and live a relatively normal life. Activities which could not be enjoyed due to poor eyesight become accessible to the person using glasses, and they are once again able to seek out the happiness and progress of those who do not need glasses. At least in theory, most people using glasses eventually become so used to wearing them that they do not even think about them at all. The glasses become part of them.
Christ as Our Ultimate Lens
Just as glasses shift and adjust the rays of light that enter an eye with visual problems, so too Christ adjusts and corrects the perceptions that enter the minds, hearts, and souls of those of us who face moral and eternal issues as well. Each set of glasses is unique and tailored to the particular issues of the user, as anyone who has put on glasses meant for another can verify. In the same way, Christ’s adjustment of our lives is unique to each of us according to our particular needs, purpose, abilities, and life situations. Christ’s impact on each of us is unique to what God wants from us and how we each divert from that purpose. Similarly, Our Lord’s solution or answer to a given problem will differ from person to person for the same reason.
Our Purpose as a Lens for God
As followers of Christ and children of God, we are called upon to be glasses for a world whose vision of what is important is increasingly blurred and distorted. We must help others to see God more clearly through our love and service and Christ more clearly through our example. Many will reject us as I rejected those glasses long ago, but we must relentlessly offer ourselves in this mission of corrective lenses for God to an increasingly blind world.
Christ tells us that he is the light of the world, and rightly so ( John 8:12). However, just because Our Lord is truly that light does not mean that everyone will see that light as they should. It is our job as followers of Christ to serve as lenses in such cases. At the same time, if we are to serve others as we should, we will also need to continually improve ourselves as well. I painfully remember being called four eyes by mocking classmates whenever I did wear those thick glasses, and that only contributed to my rejection of them. Like so many of the trials God allows us to experience in His service, we must come to embrace being four eyes for God if we are to truly fulfill our mission as followers of Christ.