Learning How To See Again

My youngest sister has terrible vision, as in drop-the-soap-in-the-shower-and-can’t-find-it terrible vision.  But, she was young and didn’t really know it was terrible.  It was the school nurse who caught it and called my parents. 

I’ll always remember leaving the optometrist’s office after she got her glasses for the first time.  We walked out onto the same main street in the same little town that we had walked countless times.  We got into the same car and drove the same route to the same house.  We could do it in our sleep, we could do it without really seeing anything we passed.  But not that day.  Not for my sister anyway.  “The trees!!!  They have leaves!!”  “Look!  The sign has words on it!”  “I can see faces on those people!”  She had renewed vision and her world was suddenly an exciting, wonderful place to live and explore. 

I’ve been remembering those feelings lately as we explore and consider what our new vision means.  In some ways, I can identify with those same exclamations of my sister so long ago.  I leave at the same time every morning from the same house, get in the same car, drive the same route to the same office where I sit at the same desk and do the same job as I have done every day for years.  Now, however, I get glimpses that tell me things are changing – the blind routine is going to be altered.  I can no longer drive that same route without seeing what’s around me, if I am going to accept the challenge of new vision. 

I have to see that my neighbor’s yard needs mowing.  I’m compelled to notice that my co-worker is unusually quiet and withdrawn or that the big boss is even more cranky and demanding than ever.  I can’t ignore that person sitting alone in a row all by herself in worship. 

I also cannot ignore that I’m ensconced in a rut that has me comfortable and content.  Frankly, I don’t want to get out of it.  It’s just my shape and size and it has all I need within arm’s reach.  If I get out what will it look like?  What will it feel like?  Am I going to like it?  Most assuredly not.  I am not fond of change.  To be more accurate, I really, really, really Do. Not. Like. Change. 

I’ve been discussing a book with some friends lately that has been a very difficult read.  I have a love/hate relationship with it.  It’s not hard to read in the usual sense, but rather because it is convicting.  It takes my sweet little routine life and turns it upside down, inside out and shakes me to the core for good measure.  It is certainly the most challenging book I think I have ever read. 

If you want to have your toes stepped on, your backside kicked and your complacency rocked I urge you to go out and buy Crazy Love by Francis Chan.  It speaks to my own recognition that some things need to change in my life.  I’m drawn to the back cover time and again because it has awakened in me something that a life gone crazy had silenced. 

I just didn’t expect my life to be so hard.  Without really realizing it, I have translated the hurt and disappointment and fear and worry to a suspicion that while God was all the things I thought He was, He just wasn’t them for me.  Too many mistakes, too many wrong choices had placed me permanently on his back burner.  And you know what?  In a church family as big as ours has become it is incredibly easy to hide. 

I need new vision.  I’m praying you’ll help me get there.  I will close with a quote from the back of the book.  Maybe it will speak to those corners of your heart that like mine, are wondering if this is really all there is.

God is love.  Have you ever wondered if we’re missing it? 

It’s crazy, if you think about it.  The God of the universe – the Creator of nitrogen and pine needles, galaxies and E-minor – loves us with a radical, unconditional, self-sacrificing love.  And what is our typical response?  We go to church, sing songs, and try not to cuss. 

Whether you’ve verbalized it yet or not…we all know something’s wrong. 

Does something deep inside your heart long to break free from the status quo?  Are you hungry for an authentic faith that addresses the problems of our world with tangible, even radical, solutions?  God is calling you to a passionate love relationship with Himself.  Because the answer to religious complacency isn’t working harder at a list of do’s and don’ts – it’s falling in love with God. And once you encounter His love you will never be the same.

Because when you’re wildly in love with someone, it changes everything.

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