A few months ago we received a note home from Gavin’s school that they had done an eye exam with all of the students and suggesting that we follow-up up with an eye doctor. Neither Erin or I have ever needed glasses or had any real problems with vision, and honestly the thought had never crossed our minds that our kids would be any different. Gavin didn’t complain about not being able to see clearly or given us any reason to be suspicious, so we figured that maybe he was goofing around during the exam or something. Erin scheduled the appointment and took him to a Pediatric Opthamologist to get checked out. They covered his left eye and asked him to read the letters on the chart. He couldn’t. Not even close. Erin actually thought he was joking or something, but when they covered the other eye he read almost the entire chart without hesitation.
He was diagnosed with a condition known as Ambliopia, which is apparently not an eye problem. It’s actually more of a brain development issue that can be corrected quite a bit through wearing glasses and sporting an eye patch for a couple hours a day.
We were a little worried at first about how Gavin would react to the glasses and the eye patch thing. But honestly he hasn’t minded so much. After he put on his glasses for the first time I asked him if things looked any different. He smiled and said… “Yeah. You look older.”
What really blew my mind about this whole thing was that Gavin didn’t realize there was a problem. He didn’t realize that what he was seeing was blurry. He had always seen things that way and had no reference point to tell him that it wasn’t normal.
I can relate. And so can you.
There is so much that we feel like we understand and see clearly but our perspective is always distorted. Our life experiences, our relationships, the culture around us, books we read, shows we watch, etc…. all have a role in shaping how we view things. And if you believe the Bible, which I do, then it tells us that ever since the Fall we have been tainted by sin, which, among other things, causes us to always see things through very selfish & paranoid lenses. Obsessing over the question, “How does this affect me?” We feel that we must think self-centeredly because we are convinced no one else is thinking of us.
It would seem that none of us have ever seen clearly. I mean, in a truly objective way. Well, maybe one of us. But He was God.
That’s one of the things that most impresses me about Jesus when I read the stories about him in the Gospels. He seemed to have a view that pierced through all of the cultural baggage of his day and saw straight through to the reality of things. His teachings are simultaneously simple and profound. Able to be explained to a child and yet still in many ways beyond the intellectual reach of the greatest scholars. There’s a confidence in Jesus’ words. A certainty of the things of which He spoke.
I guess we will never know that level of complete clarity in our own experience on this side of eternity. Although you would think that from the way we talk about each other. We all seem to have crystal clear vision with what is wrong with other people. We wonder “How can they not see this?” Yet, we remain mostly ignorant of the distortions in our own vision. Our own blindspots. The plank in our own eye, as Jesus put it.
This becomes especially evident during election season.
It’s humbling to admit that your sight is blurry. That what you see is not exactly the way things are. It’s humbling but it’s necessary. If you don’t, you end up being everybody’s judge (in your own eyes anyway). Even presiding over God Himself. Deciding what you will or won’t accept is true about Him, even from His own book.
It’s been a few months now and Gavin has gotten used to seeing things through his glasses. When he doesn’t have them on he can tell that things aren’t quite right with the way he sees. I feel the same way after reading about Jesus.