Monday, December 5, 2011

I Can See Clearly Now (Pt. 1)

Courtesy A. Squires

My roommate turned to give me one of those 'are you crazy' looks. She added an almost imperceptible, negative nod. The rest of my posse chimed in with vehemence. I got up and stalked across the cafeteria to prove my point. The person in question was exactly who I said he was.

I pulled up short – the smile of triumph changing to a gasp of horror. The stranger looked as if he wanted to turn and run from the crazed woman heading for him at warp speed. He sighed with relief when she pulled up short. My shoe heel squeaked from the force of my pivot.

I scurried back to the table. Chastened, I took my seat. “Uh...look at the clock,” I pointed across the cafeteria hall. “What time does it say?” Their answers did not match mine. They spoke as one. “Girl, you need to get some glasses!” I gulped and gasped as my mind came to grips with my new reality.

Courtesy Mad Penguin Creative
A few weeks later the eye doctor gave me a bemused smile as he polished the lenses of my shiny new specs. “Your vision may take a few hours to adjust because of the degree of correction. Till your brain adjusts, things may look distorted. Don't plan on driving for at least 24 hours.”

As cautious as he was, he should have prepared me for the fact that I'd need a guide to help me walk as well. I put those glasses on. Five minutes later, the entire world went sideways. If I turned my head to adjust to the new horizon, it would flip back. And so it went for hours as I flipped my head to and fro trying to see straight. I walked like a drunken sailor after 6 months on a stormy sea. Waves of motion sickness washed over me for the next 36 hours. I didn't drive for 2 days.

Courtesy Mad Penguin Creative
When my vision did clear, it was amazing. The trees across the 4-lane highway from my house jumped into ridiculous relief. Instead of one of those green blobs that appear on the art papers of primary school-aged children, each little leaf and limb appeared in startling detail. It was amazing. It was glorious. I was drunk off the reality of it all. And incredulous. How had I missed so much for so long and not known it?

Did you know your soul has a vision of its own? I had a sense of that reality as early as age 12. All my little friends had signed up for the rite of Believer's Baptism to confirm having professed faith in a good God who provided a Savior for their sins. Believe me, I accepted that reality with my entire heart and soul. But, I was still that tricycle riding rule breaker at heart.

Courtesy Mad Penguin Creative
So, I did the unthinkable for a preacher's daughter. I said, “No thanks. Not now. Maybe later.” I'm not real sure one of the older sainted ladies ever got over my continued refusal. She looked crestfallen every time she saw me. If she was God's class monitor taking the names of the misbehaving, I'm toast.

I don't mind telling you that when my metal-head-of-a-music-loving Son #2 wrestles with the realities of faith, I get where he is coming from and can say so with conviction. I tell myself my past will contribute to his future in a meaningful way. There is no faith like a sweaty, hard fought for faith. Can I get an A-men? That's ok. I'm gonna tell myself that anyway.

Like Mother.... Like Son
Back in the day of my teens and 20's, my sense of dis-ease grew and grew. It's hard to explain given how I was in church on my 3rd day of life and have clocked more pew time than most of my readers will in a lifetime if I never go to Sunday church again. The older I got, the more I knew there was more to know about my faith in a good God with a loving Savior as his son.

I couldn't put my finger on it. And, if I'd had the courage to say it right out loud, it would seemed blasphemous. The only preacher I'd EVER had own father. Good daughters don't even imagine expressing doubt when it could undermine his entire career. Oh, the agony. His sincerity was insufficient to quiet my gnawing hunger. Wasn't there more to this thing called 'faith'?

Courtesy Mad Penguin Creative
There came a day when I could no longer refute my own soul-vision. In that instant, the world snapped into spiritual focus. I could see clearly for the 1st time. I was again incredulous. How had I missed so much for so long, and why had no one told me? I was just as seasick as I had been the 1st day I wore glasses. 

I was simply scared to death even tho' I knew I was on the verge of what I had always been searching for. I had found freedom but, in reaching for that freedom, I risked hurting the people whose faith I knew most intimately. Oh, the agony.

What about you, fraidy cat? Something about the faith package you've been exposed to all your life leave you wanting more but not sure how to find it? Feeling a little like a traitor because you admit, even if only to yourself, that you want more than you've been given? Does your soul-vision whisper there is more and beg you to come looking? What? You never had the chance to explore your faith? Feel jaded by faith experiences? Just plain don't know where to start?

Courtesy Mad Penguin Creative
It's cold out there. I know. I'm shivering right along with you. Come back tomorrow know me...this story isn't over yet. We are in search of my good God with the good plan. If you are looking for him too, why don't you tag along? Love you long. Love you strong. Welcome home.

2 Chronicles 16:9a (NIV)
For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.

                                       Jeremiah 29: 23-24 (NIV)
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This is what the LORD says: "Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches, but let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight," declares the LORD.


  1. "There is no faith like a sweaty, hard fought for faith." A-men AND A-men.

    Funny, trees--especially individual leaves--are the first thing I noticed with glasses.

  2. I am sure there are those that would disagree w/ me and find my sweaty, hard fought for faith to my discredit. So, I thank you for the acknowledgement. I can tell my the trees that I need new glasses even as I type! UGH!

  3. I agree, too... wholeheartedly. I can't remember for sure if leaves was the first thing I noticed or not.. I was only 10 when I got my first glasses. I know my cousin noticed the leaves first when he got his, though.