Things are not as they appear

things are not as they appear

My vision wasn’t this bad swimming underwater in a muddy lake. Everything was blurry. The problem was, I had just put in my contacts.

I miss my visual acuity. When I was younger my vision was 20/15. I always thought I could have been an airline pilot. I still kind of like the sound of “Captain Vickie.” About age forty my eyesight began to slip, then it plummeted. Now without my contacts, I have a hard time figuring out which bottle is shampoo and which is conditioner in the shower.

Since I couldn’t see a thing, I took out my contacts, put them back into the solution and cleaned them. I pried open my eyelids and popped the lenses back in. After the fourth trial, I threw them in the trash and put on my dollar-store cheaters.

I was content with my decision until my husband put in his contacts. You see, he is near-sighted and I am far-sighted. Though his vision was equally blurry, it was clear to him what I had done. I threw away his perfectly good contact lenses and he was wearing mine. Oops.

IMPOSSIBLE

None of us can see through the lens of another. I can’t see through your eyes and you can’t see through mine. I let you see a little of my mess through a hazy lens. No matter how perfect someone’s life appears, we all struggle. You may get a hint or a vague word, but often, no one knows the battle you are fighting, much less that someone is critically wounded.

JUST BECAUSE

A smiling selfie on Instagram doesn’t equal contentment in the soul. Celebrations posted on Facebook are a click in time, not necessarily a great party. Sorrow and sadness are easily  hidden behind our poses.

Just because someone smiles and posts the picture on social media, doesn't mean they are happy… Click To Tweet

Really, a smile doesn’t mean anything except the muscles in the corners of your mouth work.

CORRECTIVE LENSES

We need to look through the eyes of Christ. The world is hurting. Don’t take it personally. Don’t make assumptions. You can’t look at another’s heart.

1 Samuel 16:7, “But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” NLT

THE REAL STORY

Maybe the young mother who threw an ever-loving fit at the receptionist’s window cried all night because her mother is dying of cancer.

Maybe the young couple you haven’t seen at church since Mother’s Day are grieving their third miscarriage.

Maybe the slim, tanned woman with diamonds hung like ornaments on a Christmas tree isn’t snobby after all. Maybe she’s distracted by the scars on her daughter’s wrists..

Maybe the neighbor who barely speaks when she sees you in the yard just found out her husband is leaving.

Maybe the gray-headed couple who didn’t introduce themselves when you visited a new church were attending for the first time since they buried their son fifteen years ago.

We look through the wrong lens and assume it is all about us.

She is rude

She’s  unfriendly

She is a snob

He’s grouchy

Maybe. Maybe not.

Maybe what they really need is a friend.

Psalm 60:20, “Insults have broken my heart, and I am in despair. I waited for sympathy, but there was non; for comforters, but found no one.” HCSB

LOOK

I see people weighted down, struggling with illness, despair, and unforgiveness. I want to share the joy I have found in my personal relationship with Christ. Let’s come beside others to encourage them to discover what is available to every child of God. Point to the ray of sunshine peeking through the storm clouds to show others that God is on His throne and He redeems all things to bring good for His kingdom, even in our darkest times. Joy for the Christian does not depend on circumstances but rather in trusting a sovereign Lord who knows what is best for us even when we cannot see it. Don’t focus on the hardships of the moment but on a glorious ending only God can see.

I made all these stories up, but they are likely true. Except the part about the contact lenses, that really happened.

Wanna borrow my glasses? If my perspective challenges you I would love to send my next post to your inbox. Leave your email address in the box. See you in the rear view mirror.

 

 

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  1. How very true that we never know what someone else is dealing with. Your contact lens story gave me a chuckle. I can’t tell the shampoo from condition without mine either!

  2. Thank you for sharing GOD’S mercy and grace. My prayer is, open my eyes Dear LORD. My focus gets so clouded because I’m looking around not up.