Random Blog Clay Feet: December 06, 2008
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Saturday, December 06, 2008

New Glasses

A couple weeks ago I wrote about my close encounter with a flying missile that blasted a hole through the corner of my glasses. I believe that an angel was there protecting me from serious harm, for if it had only been slightly closer I could easily have lost at least an eye and very possibly my life with a nail embedded in my brain. After I realized what had happened I also felt a sense of responsibility to acknowledge God's protection and care for me openly and not allow my flesh to try to pass it off as good luck or just a coincidence. I don't yet understand the significance of what is going on, but I sense that there is a much deeper meaning to not only this incident but the following events that have happened as a result of it.

You see, those glasses were my very old glasses that were a wrong prescription for my normal long-distance vision. About three years ago I purchased two more pairs of glasses, one for distance and the other a pair of bifocals for long and very short distance.

But I continued to wear my old glasses even though I was having problems with the frames coming loose and I couldn't read the road signs while traveling on the highways. The reason I continued to use them so much is because they worked very well for my intermediate vision which neither of my other glasses could do for me. When I worked in construction they were ideal for seeing clearly at about arm's length so I could read my tape measure, hammer nails or turn screws and everything else I normally do with my hands. In addition to that they were just right for reading the screen on my computer and so I always used them when writing and reading posts on blogs and pretty much everything else I did around inside the house.

So when I had one lens of those glasses broken into pieces I found that I had a very difficult time being able to use my computer because I had to hold it uncomfortably close to me to see clearly what I was doing. For a few days after they were attacked I continued to use them while on the computer even though I had to peer around the cracks in the lens. But two or three days later they dropped on the floor and all the pieces fell out ending any hope of using them again.

This left me feeling a little stranded as I didn't know how to handle my problem of not being able to focus well at arm's length. I struggled to type with the screen so close to me that my hands felt awkward on the keyboard and at work I found myself making many more mistakes due to not being able to read numbers on my tape clearly or cutting on the wrong marks. I found myself constantly taking my glasses on and off trying to adjust for the varying distances that I needed while working or doing other things and I realized that I needed another pair of better glasses to replace my old ones, but this time preferable safety glasses.

When I got home from Pennsylvania I contacted the office from which I had purchased my last two pairs of glasses. They were the only place I had been able to find after searching for a number of years, that carried the type of frames that I need. So I felt that they were likely the only ones who would still have what I needed now. But to my great disappointment they informed me that the manufacturer no longer makes that kind of frame and in addition the lady informed me that she was certain the doctor would not allow me to simply buy a pair of glasses using my old prescriptions without getting an exam first.

All during this time I was sharing my thoughts, feelings and frustrations with God and asking Him for guidance and blessing in getting me the right glasses so I could work and read better. As I am getting in the habit of doing about most things, I simply discussed everything with Him as I went along, but I was somewhat surprised at how providential everything happened in this situation. There were simply too many “coincidences” happening to believe that there was not divine influence working just out of sight in how my new glasses came to be provided for me. Once again I feel obliged to acknowledge and praise Him for what to some might seem like little blessings. But to God everything is important when it comes to taking care of His children. What He wants in return is for me to have a spirit of gratitude awakened and exercised so that the blessings He provides become tools to mature and strengthen my character.

The kind lady at the office, Chris, who was very helpful promised she would try to find me the right frames. She said she would make some phone calls to see if she could locate any leftover frames that might not have been sold yet by the manufacturer or see if she could locate any other company that might sell similar ones. A few days later she left a message on my answering machine that she was sorry to inform me that she had not had any luck finding any frames like what I wanted and that I should just come in and see what else was available. Then about five minutes later she called again and left another message saying that in the intervening time she had discovered one pair of frames identical to what they had sold me previously that had been sent to her without notice evidently by the factory rep. I could come in anytime and get the process going for a new pair of glasses.

That day I had left work early because my boss was not feeling well. That is rather unusual but I later felt was also providential. Since I still had about an hour before they closed I ended up having enough time to run in and provide them with what they needed. But I am getting a little ahead of myself.

As soon as I heard her message upon arriving at home I called her back to discuss my options. Again she informed me that she was very certain after working there for 17 years that the doctor would refuse to let me simply get a copy of my old glasses without getting another eye exam for intermediate distance vision. I prodded her at length to ask the doctor for a waiver but she was adamant that she knew what his answer would be already. So we began to discuss when I might be able to set up an appointment for an exam so I could use the new frames that had mysteriously shown up at the office.

It became clear that the schedule of their office and my work hours preempted me from being able to schedule an exam when I was normally off work. Even though they were open for about an hour after I quit work their office is nearly 45 minutes from where I work and the doctor leaves the office an hour sooner than closing time anyway. So setting up an appointment without taking off work, which would cost me even more money, became very problematic.

She then suggested that I come in on Saturday since they are open then. I told her that Saturday was unavailable and she asked if I work on Saturday also. I then decided to share with her the reason I do not work or conduct any kind of business on Saturdays. I explained to her that I “keep” that day which she seemed to somewhat understand except that it seemed strange as far as which day I “kept”. I then told her that nowhere in the Bible does it talk about keeping Sunday holy but it is very clear that the seventh day is the Sabbath and that those who follow God all the way will keep it holy as He asks them to do in obedience and loyalty to Him.

At this point she said something about getting in too deep and that she was a “heathen” anyway so she wouldn't understand stuff like this. I assured her that it was no problem and that feeling like a heathen was not something that might make me feel any different about her. I told her that I was simply sharing facts of reality with her and what my convictions are.

I then asked her if there were any evening appointments open on Saturday. At this she was quite surprised and asked me what difference that would make if I was unable to come in on Saturday already. Then I explained to her that according to God's perspective each day begins at sundown so Saturday night is not part of God's Sabbath. She thought that was very strange as well. “Why would a day start with the night?” she asked.

I told her that if she read Genesis it would tell her that when God created the world at the very beginning, each day is described as the evening and the morning were the first day... the second day etc. That tells us that the dark part of the day comes first and the bright part of the day comes afterward.

At this point she said that this all sounded a bit strange but what should we do about getting an appointment set up. Again I urged her to talk with the doctor and at least ask him if I could simply bring in my old lenses including the broken pieces and let them make new ones from that prescription. I said, “tell the doctor that it is simply impossible for us to coordinate our schedules, so we just have to do it this way.” She then replied that he would probably say it was impossible too and nothing would happen.

Then she told me to hang on while she went to get my file and look over my history and exam information with them. After a long wait she came back to the phone and began to share with me in amazement what had just happened. She told me that she had just talked with the doctor on his way out of the office and that he had agreed to let me have the new glasses made from my old prescriptions after he looked over all the information and compared it with my most recent exam results. Immediately I sensed that God had once again intervened and that I was watching Him at work in real time.

I told her that I would get my old glasses and come in right away before they closed so I could let them get started as soon as possible. I took in the broken pieces and helped her figure out where they came from in the old frames while she checked them on her instrument. I wanted to share with her my sense of how much God was involved in this whole affair but didn't quite know how to do it effectively. So I just left it in God's hands and decided that it was His job to take what I had already shared with her and use it however He wanted in the future.

The next afternoon while I was working I shared with a coworker what had transpired and told him that I was expecting a phone call from the office telling me that I could come in and try out some temporary lenses as she had told me they would do. About two minutes later I received a call from Chris and she told me that the glasses were ready for me to pick up. They were completely finished with no testing necessary.

Again I was filled with gratitude and even a sense of awe that God was so involved in caring so efficiently for my need for new glasses. It is the awareness of His involvement that is so encouraging even more than having new glasses to make it easier to work and write and read. After work I drove over to the town where the office is and picked up my new glasses. I was thrilled at how well they meet my requirements. Now I can once again see at the distance that I need for so many things I do, and with the doctor's input with a few tweaks on the numbers they seem even better than my old ones. I repeatedly expressed my gratitude to the receptionist and asked her to share my appreciation with the doctor as well.

This morning as I woke up I realized that there is likely something much deeper in this story that what I am yet seeing spiritually. I realize that there are things about my life, my spirit and my relationships that are like the fuzziness that was causing me so many problems when I lost my old pair of glasses. Things may be clear at very close range or far away at times, but my biggest problems in my spiritual life are often with my social interactions with others, my intermediate focal length. I have a very difficult time relating properly at times to those I interact with because things are so fuzzy in my perception of what is going on inside of them. I definitely need a new pair of spiritual lenses to help correct my faulty vision in this part of my life.

But I also sense that maybe God guided every detail of this process of getting new glasses very quickly to assure me that He will do the same for me in my spiritual weak areas as well. He knows all about my fuzzy vision in the way I see others through selfish, pride-based thinking. I do try to see others through heaven's eyes but it always seems to be such a struggle. I really want new lenses so that I don't have to constantly have to try to fight my resentment, bitterness or critical assumptions about them. I want to have the nature of Christ living in me so so thoroughly that my first reaction is one of compassion, forgiveness and love instead of judgment or criticism.

But just like my natural eyes need corrected vision that I cannot do for myself, my spiritual eyes need the corrective lenses of heaven to cause me to see others from a heart like Jesus instead of with the pride and near-sighted vision that I have known far too long. I pray that God will quickly give me new glasses so that my spirit and witness will always be an honor to His reputation and bring glory to His name.