I can still remember the moment I received my first pair of glasses. I looked in the mirror and saw a young girl with a blunt bob complete with thick bangs, top and bottom braces, newly pierced ears, and now purple metallic glasses. I was the epitome of style for a 7 year old in 2000. Not. I was not familiar with this new found feeling of self-consciousness, and all the sudden, I was very aware of how I looked. And more detrimentally, I was very aware of how I wish I looked.
After a few years, my vision significantly worsened, and the eye doctor recommended I try contact lenses. After one day of contacts, I never looked back (no pun intended). Contacts did wonders for not only for my vision, but also for my confidence. Life was good.
Until I turned nineteen. In my nineteenth year, the allergies I had always managed to keep at bay every spring evolved into a giant dust and pollen monster that took up residence in my poorly endowed eyes. I spent countless hours in the Emergency Room with swollen eyelids; an ungodly amount of money on allergy specialists, medication, steroids, and injections; and many nights in tears because I simply could not stop scratching. From the endless scratching, I fostered various infections and was often told I could not wear my contacts. Day after day, season after season, my eyes flamed on. There was no end in sight (again, no pun intended). To complicate the situation, throughout my ongoing bout with the allergy monster, my eyesight continued to severely deteriorate.
Something needed to give. I was young. I was working two jobs. I was in the midst of planning a wedding. I refused to let my eyesight and allergies dominate my daily functions. So I talked with my doctors and chose to have corrective eye surgery. They promised me better vision. “20-Happy,” to be exact. They cannot promise perfect, “20- 20 vision” but they promised I would be happier than I was. That was all I needed to hear. I set the date and prepped for surgery day.
The very unpleasant procedure came and went. No need to delve further into that part of this story. I was wide awake, it was painful, and thanks to a talkative nurse, I knew every blessed move the doctor made including scraping off a layer of my cornea with a scalpel. That’s all you need to know and that is all I wish to recall at this time.
Today, almost 4 weeks after surgery, life is good. I cannot explain how thrilling it is to wake up in the morning and read my alarm clock; how fantastic it is to not have to crawl on my hands and knees and pat the ground for my fallen glasses; how wonderful it feels to rub my eyes and not lose my contact underneath my eyelid; or how improved my eye allergies are thus far. The world is clear and new, and so is my perspective.
I vow to use this gift of sight like never before. I vow to take time to look at the beauty and magnificence of the creation that surrounds us. I also vow to open to my eyes up to the will of the Creator and the needs of His world. What good is sight or any other God-given abilities if we do not use them to serve him and our fellow man. I vow to open my eyes to a friend in need of a kind word, a stranger in need of a smile, a community in need of service, or a Church in need of discipleship. As Jesus once said,” Blessed are the eyes that see what you see.” And with “20-Happy” vision, I vow to see.
Thanks for reading,