Gratitude Year 4-Day 190: Today, I am grateful for my reading glasses.
I am not sure I have ever done this one before... and if that is the case, I have been most remiss. I would be lost without my readers. They should be on the "once a year list", as they are essential to my daily tasks.
In fact, I am sure not one gratitude post has been written without at least one pair or reading glasses. In fact...there are many times I wear two at a time. Why? Because, I forget about the pair on my head, so I grab a second pair to do my reading and writing. Oh yes, I am sure the look is ridiculous, but I do try to match my outfits. If I have to have cheater readers - let's at least make them fashionable!
Reading glasses build a unique camaraderie among the "over forty" crowd. Strangers will share. Brothers will grab sisters and sisters will grab brothers. Now, this typically works out better for the girls, but nothing says "stud" like a 40+ year old man in zebra print glasses. I am grateful for the masculine pair my friend Mark shares when I forget mine on Sunday mornings. I can't read music without them. His are manly...but they get the job done.
Again...vision comes to mind. It is a gift. When it begins to fail, we need vision correction. How many times do I think I see clearly, but I don't? I only have slightly faulty human vision... my distance vision is fabulous... but up close for reading, writing and crafting... it gets a little blurry without some help.
Isn't that how we respond to God sometimes? We can intellectually trust his big picture plan. But the blurred vision up-close is frustrating, when fear, pain or lack of understanding makes seeing his hand difficult or impossible. Without "God Goggles", the hurt, the illness, the loss, the struggle, the pain or simply the "why" elude us. When we reach heaven, I am sure things will become clear, but at that point...we will be so overwhelmed by His glory that the big stuff we faced here will simply fade away.
"Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen." -Ephesians 3:20-21
Today's temporary trials and woes will soon be gone. Our Lord's work is not just for today but "throughout all generations, forever and ever". Today FEELS...and in our human minds it IS...urgent. But, our God keeps his own clock. My lack of God vision leads to impatience. Impatience leads to acting on my own instead of waiting on him. And in the words of Bartok the Bat (from Anastasia), "This can only end in tears".
His Word... his Holy Spirit... the witness of other believers...and the music that speaks from His heart can be my spiritual readers... if I let them.
"Write the vision. Make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it." in Habakkuk 2:2 applies again.
From "vision testing" earlier this week... to the "cheater readers" that help us get by with imperfect vision... I am reminded that He longs to be our vision. He longs to be our vision correction. He wants us to see with his eyes... and to love with his heart.
He wants us to look up and see a loving Father, a brother who died for us and a Holy Spirit that lives within us. He wants us to look around and see beauty in our differences. He longs for us to embrace and celebrate the things that make us unique. He longs for us to see what he sees. Skins of many colors...in various, beautiful shades of red, yellow, black, brown and white...each one precious in his sight.
How our nation needs more God goggles!
Unlike my vision issues solved by Dollar Tree readers... our human hearts are naturally near-sighted. We are only able to "see" what is close enough to be understood. Unfortunately, our neighbors across the street may be "too far away" to be clear. Not in proximity, but because there are too different from us in culture or beliefs.
Personally, I think "The Same Kind of Different As Me" by Ron Hall and Denver Moore should be read, discussed and embraced by all for the powerful message. We all have stories. Our stories have good times, tragedies and things that cause us pain. Within every culture - we all feel alone at times. It's true.
Denver Moore was a victim of hate long before he was a prisoner and then homeless. Then, he met Ron and Debbie Hall. Ron and Debbie Hall were trying to save a marriage that had been neglected and it led to infidelity. God brought the three of them to intersect... to a crossroads that would change all of their lives. There is a difference between "doing the work of the church" and "being the hands and heart of Jesus". Denver has sage-like wisdom:
“I used to spend a lotta time worryin that I was different from other people, even from other homeless folks. Then, after I met Miss Debbie and Mr. Ron, I worried that I was so different from them that we wadn't ever gon' have no kind a' future. But I found out everybody's different - the same kind of different as me. We're all just regular folks walkin down the road God done set in front of us. The truth about it is, whether we is rich or poor or somethin in between, this earth ain't no final restin place. So in a way, we is all homeless - just workin our way toward home.” -Denver Moore
Do I clearly see other pilgrims on the journey home, when I look beyond my comfort zone?
As my reading glasses help me to see what is fuzzy up close, I pray to see others with improved vision through God goggles. Our nations is bleeding. Can we clearly see what God sees in our neighbor who is different. Beyond race, beyond social class or occupation... is there really an "all"? All good? All evil? Each of us...uniquely formed by his hand... with DNA to prove it! There is one all. We are all God's children.
“The Word says God don't give us credit for lovin the folks we want to love anyway. No, He gives us credit for loving the unlovable. The perfect love of God don't come with no conditions...” -Denver Moore
I pray that we can find new eyes and new solutions. We've been fighting a "war on terrorism" but it is racism and prejudice against our brothers and sisters at home that I fear will destroy us from within. I pray that we can find new eyes that will lead to new solutions. We've been fighting a "war on terrorism" but it is racism and prejudice against our brothers and sisters at home that I fear will destroy us from within.
Today, I am grateful for my reading glasses.