How will you say to your brother, Brother, let me take the grain of dust out of your eye, when you yourself do not see the bit of wood in your own eye? O false one! First take the wood out of your eye and then you will see clearly to take the dust out of your brother’s eye. ~ Luke 6:42
I have a somewhat rare physical condition called anisometropia. I’m near-sighted in one eye and far-sighted in the other. I’ve worn glasses since third grade. If anisometropia isn’t corrected, the brain chooses the best of the two images and the eye which has better vision becomes dominant. The other eye becomes ‘lazy’ and eventually loses it’s ability to focus.
There’s a more common spiritual condition that mirrors this physical one. If we close one eye, all we can see is the bit of wood. That kind of nearsightedness traps us in a world of introspective guilt and self-focus. However, if we choose to keep that eye open and shut the other, we see only the grains of dust in other’s eyes and our perspective is filled with criticisms and judgements and quick conclusions.
In addition to anisometropia, I have astigmatism, blurring things in both eyes. When I started junior high, I switched to contacts. Vanity compelled me to keep wearing them into adulthood, even though my astigmatism had gotten so severe that hard lenses popped off and the soft ones just floated around aimlessly. I went back to glasses when I reached the point that I cared more about what I could see than what I looked like.
I can’t read the E on the eye chart without my glasses. The consequences are even greater in the spiritual realm. When I try to see on my own, to look at myself, or at others, I have a severe case of spiritual astigmatism, which if left untreated, leads to a lazy loss of vision.
Thinking I can see is the height of vain self-deception. Only through the lens of grace can I see anything more than my own dim reflection in the mirror. And only through grace can I ever hope to glimpse the glories of another.