Astigmatism

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.

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About Debbie

A former counselor and public speaker, I'm grateful for many, many things - God's grace most of all!

17 responses to “Astigmatism”

  1. Jeff says :

    Wow. I’ve never heard of that condition. I grew up severely nearsighted with astigmatism. I can’t imagine trying to see clearly with opposite vision in both eyes. But the way you applied that to the human condition is brilliant! Thanks for that! Only God can give us the ability to “see.”

  2. Debbie says :

    Thank you dear Angel.

  3. Debbie says :

    This is so good and so humbling. Asking for forgiveness for all the times that I think I can see something. I just want to use His grace glasses.
    God bless you and the ways He helps you see!
    p.s. I wear contacts yet . . .even though things are blurry. Maybe some glasses are in my future? :)

  4. literary lew says :

    Nice. As Conrad Aiken wrote, “We see only the small bright circle of our consciousness beyond which lies the dark.”

  5. Heidi says :

    “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.” I’m going to ruminate on this part today. I love this.

  6. jelillie says :

    I so like this! Understanding that only Jesus can bring us clarity of vision makes it all the more important to stay away from judgment of others. We may be able to see outward behavior but let us never think we can judge the motives of another’s heart!

    • Debbie says :

      dear jelillie – How audacious of me to ever think I can know another’s heart when I don’t even have a clear picture of mine! As you wisely said, only Jesus can bring clarity. Judging is like day old manna.
      ~ Debbie

  7. SPTP2011 says :

    I love: through the lens of Grace
    Trying to keep my glasses on
    Prayers for your day

  8. iamnotshe says :

    All i know is that if left to my own devices i can put a multitude of magnifications or adjustments to anything i see or feel. Many times i’m not aware when i’m doing it. Live and let live … with love … or i may misunderstand your meaning. mel

    • Debbie says :

      mel – me too! I can magnify the dust or the wood. Either way, it’s a distorted image, only cleared up when I look at myself or another, through the eyes of grace (easy to say, not always so easy to practice).
      ~ Debbie

  9. Debby says :

    Oh my…..I’m still giggling at how both of our blogs for today began. I don’t mean to laugh at what you have beautifully said, but I’m sure you’ve done the same upon reading the beginning of my post too. So true, dear friend, to see a dim reflection only made clear through grace.

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  1. Input for November 1, 2011 | Angelnvj1287's Lectio Blog - November 1, 2011

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