When You Need to See Clearly
By: Rebecca Barlow Jordan
“One thing I do know. I was blind, but now I see.” - John 9:25 NIV
I knew the moment I opened my eyes after surgery that something had changed. But it wasn’t until light began filtering through the holes in my plastic eye patch that the truth dawned.
“I can see again!”
When I removed the patch, I grabbed my shades, because the light almost blinded me. White cabinets in my kitchen shone like bright stars. I opened my bedroom closet, and vibrant colors jumped out. “Larry, I have a purple top in my closet! Look at these pinks, blues, and greens!” No more wondering, “Is that navy or black?”
Day by day, my vision cleared. And I kept remembering the words in Amazing Grace: “I once was blind, but now I see.” Others had assured me of some improvement that would come after cataract surgery, but no one can adequately prepare you for the difference. Every person is unique, but my experience was remarkable. I felt a little like Paul, who was temporarily blinded, then experienced new sight again when “something like scales” fell from his eyes (Acts 9:18). I had no idea how blind I had been until those scales were gone.
My ophthalmologist removed the second cataract shortly before Christmas. Both eyes cleared in time for me to take in all the beautiful lights and colors of the holidays. As our family gathered for Christmas, I couldn’t hold back the tears. No more stumbling in the dark. No more cautiously descending the stairs. No more colored “halos” or glare at night. Now I could see at dusk or nighttime. I could see—and without glasses, except for some inexpensive readers for close up work or reading. I could even see well enough to work at my desktop computer without help.
The only negative was that now I could see the dirt—on the floor, on the cabinets, on my furniture, and any build-up on white surfaces. But I can handle that.
During those days following, God has opened my eyes and heart further to reveal an analogy that often happens with married couples—including us in our earlier years of marriage.
As with physical eyesight, the wear and tear of life and circumstances can begin to cloud the ability to see clearly. Once sensitive to what pleases our spouse, we can develop a thin film, causing our eyes to focus inward. We no longer work at meeting their needs. The colors of joy, spontaneity, and kindness grow dull as the scales thicken. And the light that once shone in our marriage can grow dim. The truly sad part is, the change can be so subtle. We are unaware that we can no longer see our mate as God intended: a joy, a precious gift to treasure and protect.
In our case, we tried different glasses to view life and each other, but none worked. When we finally realized how blind we had become, we asked the divine Surgeon to take over. And He did. His Word cut us deep. He even provided a wise counselor to guide us. But He didn’t stop there.
With laser precision, step by step, He removed the old lens from our eyes—our own selfish perceptions—and gave us new grace-filled ones. He assured us our vision would improve if we would keep asking for his perspective.
And so it has. Not only can we focus on the good and beautiful things about each other, we can also see the “dirt” in our own lives before it accumulates. And with God’s help, we can deal with it quickly and positively. If new cloudiness begins to develop, as it often will in cataract surgery after a few years, we ask God to remove the scales again.
Our constant prayer for ourselves and for others in their marriage is: “Lord, help us see each other as You see us: deeply loved, fully pleasing, totally accepted, and completely forgiven, complete in Christ.”
Because once you can truly see, no one ever wants to be blind again.
Rebecca Barlow Jordan is a bestselling inspirational author and day-voted follower of Jesus who loves to paint encouragement on the hearts of others. After five decades of marriage, she and her husband are more passionate about marriage and family than ever. Rebecca has authored and contributed to over 20 books and has written over 2000 other articles, devotions, greeting cards, and other inspirational pieces. She is a regular Crosswalk contributor whose daily devotional Daily in Your Presence is also available for delivery through Crosswalk.com. You can sign up for Rebecca’s free ebook and find out more about her and her encouraging blog at www.rebeccabarlowjordan.com.
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