I was in fifth grade when I first got glasses. I remember sitting in the optometrist’s chair with the phoropter (the big swing arm device with all the lenses and focus wheels on it) against my face. “Which is better? One, two or three?” the doctor would ask as he flipped through the lens options. He said that my eyesight was such (read: bad) that they were going to make some “special glasses” just for me. Later I found out that “special glasses” meant powerful enough to see craters on Mars with the all the added bulkiness of welding goggles. When I finally put them on, I was astonished: trees had leaves, the writing on the blackboard made sense, and movies were more than talking blobs. All this time I had blamed the forest, the teacher and the projector when the real problem was my lack of focus.
Sometimes I feel like I’m still sitting in that chair, except instead of looking at a chart topped with a big “E,” I’m looking at life. And God is clicking the lenses through, and asking, “Which is better? One or two?”
“Two,” I say.
“One is better,” He replies.
“I like two,” I retort.
“But two is fuzzy, you know that,” He says.
“One hurts too much. It lets in too much light.”
“Two makes you miss things because they’re blurred.”
“Maybe, but two doesn’t hurt. Two is comfortable; two lets me see things how I’ve always seen them.”
“But one is the way I see things…and that’s how I want you to see too.”
I’ve found that I spend far too much time viewing life and others through a lens of my own shaping. Because of the sacrifice of Christ and His life-changing work, Paul writes, “Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh” (2 Cor. 5:16). Paul experienced a permanent change of perspective; he received the right prescription. Life, and those in it, looked different to him. At times the truth was blinding for him, literally (Acts 9). And, at times, his stand for truth brought him pain (2 Cor. 11). But despite it all, he saw more clearly than ever before.
People don’t look the same through number one, neither does life, but then, God doesn’t see things as we do. I’m glad He doesn’t see everyone else like I do, and I’m really glad that He doesn’t see me as I see myself…yet He loves me anyway.