For the past several years, Janet has been told by our eye doctor that she will eventually need cataract surgery. There was no rush, but doc just wanted her to know that as people get older, it is not uncommon for them to need to have this procedure done to improve their vision.
However, for the last year, Janet’s vision has deteriorated rather rapidly. At first, there wasn’t much difference, but I noticed that she was asking me what something said as we were driving down the street together more often than before. The prior year she had waited until her next annual appointment to get the change in prescription, but this last year has seen several lens corrections and then about two months ago she finally received the news that eye surgery was imminent.
Of course, Janet wasn’t ready for that news although I suspect that in the back of her mind she knew that eventually she would need her cataracts removed and new lenses implanted. At first, she was going to wait until September as she needed to get mentally prepared for such a procedure. We ordered new lenses for a pair of her glasses but the doctor was rather emphatic that this was merely a measure to tide her over until she went in for the procedure.
It wasn’t but several weeks later that Janet knew the corrective lenses just weren’t compensating for the deterioration in her vision and that something had to be done sooner rather than later. We made an appointment with the surgeon, she had all the exams and the dates were set for the surgeries. In case you are unfamiliar with the procedure, they only do one eye at a time and usually it is about a week to ten days between procedures.
There are several different lenses to choose from depending on what your longer term sight objectives are. Janet chose a lens that should allow her to see across the entire spectrum, from near to far, unless she is trying to read a small print menu in a dark restaurant. Then, she may need a pair of drug store “cheaters” to get her through.
The first surgery was almost several weeks ago and we were both amazed that she walked out of the surgery center wearing sunglasses and could already tell how drastically her vision had improved. There are three different drops she has to use for a period of time but all is well. After ten days of wacky sight, with one eye repaired and the other one still needing correction, her second surgery was last Friday and we went to the follow up appointment Saturday morning. She is already testing better than 20/20 and her vision should continue to improve for the next 30 days or so.
Apparently, it takes the brain a while to learn to deal with the new parameters of sight and when the eyes and the brain learn to work together, things should be even better than they are now, which is already terrific! There have been great medical strides made in helping people to see better.
It occurs to me that our sight is much like our spiritual journey with God. It is easy for our “vision” to weaken and at first we won’t notice any change. But, eventually, when we have lost enough clarity, we know that something needs to change. Depending on how long we wait, and who is around us to hold us accountable in our spiritual life, we come to the conclusion that we need to get back to basics and re-dedicate ourselves to our spiritual disciplines.
For some of us, that may be prayer, or being in nature, or silence, or community worship, or solitude, or devotional time; or even music. Sometimes, when we get back to those spiritual practices, we immediately see God more clearly. But it also takes time for our brains to get used to the dedication that it takes to discipline ourselves to sustain these practices. It is so easy to slip away and lose our connection with God if we don’t stay focused.
Hopefully, as we progress through our lives, we will continue to “see” Christ more clearly. This, if done correctly, leads to what is called progressive sanctification – the process of becoming more Christ-like in our spiritual lives and our actions toward others. But we won’t reach perfect sanctification in this world – that happens when we are in the presence of Christ in heaven. Paul, in one of his most famous verses, tells us at the conclusion of the famous love chapter in 1 Corinthians that the day is coming when we will see clearly!
Paul lets us know, in our verse for the evening, from 1 Corinthians 13:11 (KJV), “When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.”
What an encouragement! Jesus wants us to continue to see Him more clearly even though we won’t have perfect sight until we are face to face with Him. My prayer is that we will all work on our spiritual “sight” and that Jesus will be proud of our effort to see Him more clearly this side of heaven! Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…