Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Learning to See

Shortly after Levi was born, we noticed that his eyes didn't seem to track together. In fact, it seemed at least one of his eyes was crossing much of the time. We took Levi to the eye doctor and had him examined. At first we tried patching one eye to get the other eye to kick in. When that didn't work, Levi had surgery to move some of the small muscles around the eye to give him more control. And it worked perfectly. The eyes were straightened, and he followed with both eyes in tandem.

At four years of age part of Levi's yearly check up included a vision screening. The pediatrician expressed concern about his vision, so I took Levi back to the opthamologist who performed the surgery. Dr. Greenberg did some testing and confirmed what the pediatrician had suspected: Levi was favoring his right eye and not using the left one like he should.

Structurally, his eyes are perfect--meaning there is no real reason why he should favor one eye. But, if he doesn't learn now to use both eyes equally, he will limit his vision for life. So, for now we are on a patching routine. I patch the good eye for five hours a day. He is forced to use his weaker eye to play with his train set, watch Curious George, etc. We will go back in about three months to find out if the patching has made a difference.

All of this eye stuff made me think about how I don't always see life clearly. Spiritually and emotionally, I need more than what I observe to make wise judgements. I need the eyes of trusted friends who know my weaknesses and aren't afraid to challenge me.

On my own, my vision is limited. I have blind spots that can lead me astray. My point of view becomes the only vantage point while there are great vistas I am missing. God has placed people all around me whose eyes track differently than mine. These friends are a gift of grace to me. They can bring encouragement when I feel hopeless, they can see life lessons that I am too blind to notice.

"Open your eyes and see-- how good God is."
Psalm 34:8

If I want truly to open my eyes to life with God, I can't isolate myself from others. It is not enough to spend time with God in prayer and the Word. I've got to hang out with friends. I've got to open up and be real. And I've got to be humble enough to hear what I may not want to hear.

Step one for me is calling a friend and getting something on the calendar. Coffee. Dinner. Sitting around my house. Meeting at McDonalds with the little ones in tow. Something! Anything! Because, dang it, relationships don't just happen. And I don't stay close, connected, and authentic if I'm not relating to others.

Okay, I've convinced me. Gotta get to the phone now. Ready to get a new glimpse of God's goodness. Ready to see clearly again. My eyes aren't strong enough on their own.


  1. Thanks for sharing this! I often talk to God but sometimes there is just as much need to talk to a good friend. Our friends can be God's mouth piece at times. I don't know what I'd do without my friends!

    1. Thanks for the encouraging words Lynn. I agree that God uses our friends to speak to us and to come alongside us and lift us when we need support.

  2. Thanks for this reminder at a time I am particularly tempted to crawl into my own little "cave" and isolate, afraid that being authentic and/or trusting will only result in more hurt, disappointment, or betrayal.