“Open my eyes that I may see wonderful truths in Your [Word]” (Psalm 119:18–NIV).
Some time ago, I was told about something that gave me hope where I’d felt somewhat despairing–and, of all places, it was offered during my most recent mammogram.
It was near the end of the school year, and Allie was in the throes of EOGs (“End of Grade” tests). Like many, she was nervous–feeling pressure to perform, though not entirely placed upon her by her teachers, administrators, and the like. Highly competitive, she has an intrinsic desire to do well–for her own satisfaction, as well as to please others.
Rebecca, the mammographer, asked about our family–that sort of awkward conversation that sometimes happens in such circumstances. I know her from our small medical community, and she’s assisted me in this manner in the past. We were just catching up a bit–squeezing in small talk for that short span of time.
I responded to her inquiry, telling her what each of our children was doing. When I got to Allie, I told her she was under the normal “end of year” pressure–with EOGs and such. She then empathized, explaining that this had been particularly difficult for her son, as well. “He had a vision problem that affected his overall reading comprehension and made test-taking difficult,” she’d said.
Thankful to have someone truly understand, I continued–explaining that Allie, too, struggles–growing weary and even overcome by long days of test-taking. I added that she’s had some tutoring, which we’d hoped would help with her overall scores.
Rebecca then said, “We discovered something that really helped our son. It’s called vision therapy, and there’s an eye specialist nearby that does this. The doctor saw our son weekly for several months and offered him exercises to do at home. His reading comprehension, strange as it may seem, improved, and he was able to catch up where he’d been behind and was successful throughout the remainder of his schooling.”
Listening to her, I practically forgot why I was in that small, dark room–so intent on what she was telling me. I’d just made an eye appointment for Allie with another doctor because she has a somewhat lazy eye, and we’d been concerned that it may worsen and hinder her vision. What Rebecca was telling me sounded like something I needed to further investigate, so I asked her if she could give me the name and number of this doctor, which she happily did. As soon as I was back in the car, I called and got Allie an appointment which was scheduled for later that summer.
Long story short(er)–Allie did see this specialist, who examined both her right and left eye thoroughly and ran a battery of vision assessments. The doctor then determined that Allie did indeed have a “disconnect” between what she sees and how her brain assimilates information. In other words, as she explained, “She has a toolbox but can’t quite figure out how to use the tools. Our work will enable her to choose the proper tool and figure out how to use it properly, with hopes that her reading comprehension and overall learning will improve.”
It’s not that Allie can’t read. She can. It’s just that, when she reads words on a page, she suffers a disconnect somewhere between her eyes and her brain, which keeps her from fully comprehending what she’s read. Thus, she becomes weary and frustrated. The thought that there were actually techniques and exercises that could help improve this–much like sit-ups or walking improves the strength of my muscles–made us so happy and hopeful. After all, what parent enjoys watching their child struggle with learning?
In short, Allie can see, but she struggles to understand.
And I’ve been thinking–I’m like that, too. I look but often fail to truly see–to take the information before me and apply it to my life that I might walk in knowledge. In other words, I fail to comprehend just how what I’ve seen can change me, mold me, make me–more in the image of God, in whose image I’m made and in whose character I should walk day by day.
In reality, I’ve got tools in my toolbox–Yes, even glasses!–but too often fail to use them properly that I might truly see.
Sometimes I’m too nearsighted (myopic) and only see things that are right up close rather than seeing beyond myself. Perhaps I’m focused on what I want rather than looking out and seeing the needs of others. Perhaps I’m overly critical of what I see of myself and grow insecure or discouraged.
Sometimes, however, there are things right up close that I should honestly pay more attention to, but I’m too farsighted (hypermetropic)–only looking beyond myself, seeing others and comparing myself to them or casting a critical eye in their direction.
Truth is, I need a tune-up–a realignment, an adjustment. Because, whether nearsighted or farsighted, I should really be asking, “What vision therapy do I need that I might…”
Look more like Jesus?
Act more like Jesus?
Love more like Jesus?
Perhaps being balanced is much like a mammogram–where something on both our right and our left is thoroughly scrutinized. Though not entirely comfortable, it’s important for the broader picture of health and healing, that we might truly see and understand.
Psalm 119:18’s “Open my eyes that I may see…” is pressed between other verses on either side. In verse nine, we’re asked–
How can one keep [her] way pure? By living according to [God’s] word.
And verse thirty-two says–
I run in the path of [God’s] commands, for [He] has set my heart free.
To have eyes that truly see–up-close, as well as far away–one must first look to God’s Word and obey what it says. Then, with eyes wide open–with freedom–she can–
Look more like God.
Act more like God.
Love more like God.
Like daughter / like mother–I guess I, too, am in need of some vision therapy. After all, I’m not always good at having the EOG (Eyes of God), but through the lens of His Word, I’m certain to not run blindly. Instead, I’ll run with His perfect vision and thus, see beauty in His world–MY-optically and hyper(beyond)-ME-tropically.
Open my eyes that I might see beautiful truths in Your Word…
And in Your world.