“The eye is the lamp of the body. Therefore, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how terrible that darkness will be! No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be loyal to the one and have contempt for the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.Matthew 6:22-24
So this week my mother had cataract surgery. Yes, the procedure has been refined to a fine art; yes, it has an impressively high success rate; yes, we have access to some of the best doctors and surgeons on the planet here in the triangle area; and, yes, the doctor was very pleased with how everything went.
That’s one aspect. The other is that my mum is over 90 years old, she wants her vision to be 100% better yesterday if not sooner, her other eye is almost blind, there is a fairly long window of recovery when a cataract is that HUGE (trauma to the eye, swelling etc), and she has never been very good at being a patient patient.
It turns out being able to see clearly is critically important, especially if you can’t hear, and your balance is already iffy, and you forget everything every 30-minutes or so.
It’s now three days since her surgery, and even though we had an extremely positive follow-up visit with her most excellent surgeon (Dr. Firozvi), mum’s vision is still – at this point – nowhere near so good as it was before the procedure.
Her cataract was impressively big, Dr. Firozvi said, and that means more trauma to the eye in removal. Also, she implanted a stint to help with the glaucoma, so there’s recovery to go along with that too.
Theoretically, removing the ginormous cataract should result in a very obvious improvement in vision – it’s just going to take a few more days. Plus of course a bazillion eyedrops administered by me at various times of the day.
We all need more light to come in….
Jesus was very familiar with people who could not see well – both literally and metaphorically. Jesus was also up to speed on the connection between light and the creative impulse that generated, powers, illuminates, and sustains the Universe.
God is that light, the creative, generative, animating, empowering, illuminating, sustaining author of all that is, all power and authority and – especially – light.
If we are unable – or unwilling – to let God’s light in, Jesus is suggesting, then we are lost. Lost as regards everything that our creation intends and God seeks to make possible.
Whatever blocks the light from illuminating our essential selves, the Great Surgeon is willing to excise. If not, “how terrible that darkness will be.”
I love the way James parsed this idea, “The creator of the heavenly lights“:
Don’t be misled, my dear brothers and sisters. Every good gift, every perfect gift, comes from above. These gifts come down from the Father, the creator of the heavenly lights, in whose character there is no change at all. He chose to give us birth by his true word, and here is the result: we are like the first crop from the harvest of everything he created.James 1:16-18
Seriously, friends, “don’t be misled…” – DEREK