When we need glasses and try to see without them, we may not even realize that nothing is clear.
Sometimes we grab someone else’s glasses and they distort everything.
Rather than put on sunglasses, we prefer to squint through blinding glare and miss what is right in front of us.
When I was 8 my sworn enemy was a farm girl named Lysette. She was a year older, had red hair and called me a city slicker. She mocked my dislike of manure, my trepidation at riding a wild pony bareback and my distaste for treading on dead rats in the corn crib.
In spite of her diabolical character, my parents inexplicably invited her along to my grandpa’s house in Chicago. There she sealed my contempt and engendered my constant humiliation by gagging on city air, city milk and my city relations. When she wasn’t complaining she was throwing a full-fledged sobbing hissy fit.
I despised Lysette.
Years later I learned that my parents had taken her because her father was dying from leukemia and her family needed to focus on him instead of a confused and frightened 9 year old.
I wish I had seen Lysette through a clarifying lens of compassion instead of relying on my own poor vision.
My husband and I were friends with a couple at church. We delighted in their company. One day another woman from the church called to tell us what the husband was ‘really’ like. And try as I might to keep my own glasses in place, for a few moments I looked through her angry lens, and I could never again see him in quite the same way.
I squint at my own sins and can barely see them, but when I shade my eyes I can pick out each niggling detail of the faults of others.
We are so dependant on the lenses we use.
We can’t make judgments or arrive at conclusions about others unless we can see them clearly.
We can never look at the ones we love through someone else’s glasses.
We can’t be blinded by the glare of our own preconceptions, self-deceptions, or biases.
We need glasses that are a composite of truth and love, polished constantly with grace, and rimmed with humor and common sense.
What do you think, my friends? Shall we set a new fashion trend?