Refraction, On Seeing Again 

So, you passed your driving license sight exam?” I knew I was going to be getting a prescription when she asked me that question. She assured me I’d notice a big difference when I got my glasses.

An assistant who seemed to have good style helped me pick out a pair of glasses I was sure I’d just need while driving at night. They came in a week later. I put them on.

My baseboards are nicked everywhere. I can see blades of grass in my backyard, read signs from a bizarre distance, distinguish shapes at night, and notice every dust bunny in my house with my bionic eyeglasses. Oh, and our TV is suddenly much better quality than I thought.

Its not like I haven’t worn glasses before. Anyone who grew up with me knows I was very nearsighted and wore glasses constantly. Then I had those gas permeable contacts which are really torture devices when combined with the smallest bit of dust. Then subjected myself to LASIK, wonder of wonders! I didn’t wear glasses for 16 years.

But, when you get older, eyes change. I knew this but slow change is like being cooked in a pot of water. I didn’t notice the gradual differences mounting up.

What took me in to the optometrist, besides not having my eyes checked for a ridiculously long time, was a growing fear of driving at night. I had a suspicion I wasn’t seeing as clearly as before. I also noticed I could see more dirt in my house when I got closer to the floor.

You’re noticing I’m not really bright. Takes me awhile to put two and two together…and get the right answer!

So, I knew I needed glasses but this radical transformation was a little more than I anticipated. Realizing how much my bad vision distorted my perception was a wake up call. I came to believe over time it was the TV’s fault or my night vision just wasn’t that good.

My problem, by default, was out there. This distortion led me to think I was keeping my house decently clean and the trim paint was ok. Oh, and that we should’ve spent more on a TV because ours wasn’t that sharp! Weren’t these new TV’s supposed to have higher resolution?

Add corrective lenses and I realize the problem was me–not the TV. Ironic that what corrects a problem with seeing out there, reveals how much I put store in my own faulty estimation of the world.

I believed what I saw until I was corrected. We all do. It’s our fatal flaw, this tendency to start from our selves instead of God to define truth. We forget we are imperfect. We grow comfortable believing our take on life until it just isn’t working like it used to, or did it ever? 

It’s tempting now to take off my glasses when I don’t want to see all the imperfections and chores I need to do. Strange how I know it doesn’t make the dust bunnies go away… but it makes the dust bunnies go away!

I don’t take them off to watch TV, in case you were wondering. 

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