There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.1 Corinthians 12:4-6
These past few weeks have involved a lot of visits to eye doctors for my mum. I think – including the optometrist, the ophthalmologist, the retina specialist, the glaucoma specialist, and the cataract specialist, and then the other optometrist – that adds up to a minimum of six professionals in the field.
This week was the most satisfying, as our appointment was to measure what she needs now in terms of new lenses and to pick out frames. One more follow up with the surgeon and we should be through with the medical side of things.
I always, of course, pay close attention, keep my eyes open, and observe to see what I can learn. It was during the “find the correct lens” testing I had my moment of revelation – well, it was a revelation for me. Here’s what happened.
First, it’s important to know that my mother’s left eye is essentially useless. There is no surgery that will help.
- They covered her right eye and checked the left eye. No matter how huge the letters on the screen, she could not read any. Nada. Zip. Zilch. Nothing. This is a made up number for the sake of comparison, but I’ll assign her left eye a “1” on a 1-10 scale.
- Next they covered her left eye and checked the right eye (cataracts were removed in December). She did better than she thought she would, picking out some of the smaller letters. I’ll say a “5” on my scale.
- Then – and this is what I think is extremely cool and has so many other implications – she read the chart using both eyes. Her acuity jumped to a “7” or even an “8”!!
Before this test my initial thinking/rationale would have been, “The left eye is a hinderance, it gets in the way. Keep the left eye covered, it hardly even works, it will make things worse. Let mum’s good eye work by itself.” Or, “Sorry, left eye, but you have lost your chance. Stay out of the way. Wear a patch or something!”
But, no. Working together, the ostensibly useless left eye worked with the right eye to improve vision by probably 20-25%.
Can you see where I could so easily be going with this?
Maybe a scripture or two, and very little commentary from me.
The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor.1 Corinthians 12:21-23
For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.2 Corinthians 4:6
He said to me, “My grace is enough for you, because power is made perfect in weakness.” So I’ll gladly spend my time bragging about my weaknesses so that Christ’s power can rest on me. 10 Therefore, I’m all right with weaknesses, insults, disasters, harassments, and stressful situations for the sake of Christ, because when I’m weak, then I’m strong.2 Corinthians 12:9-10
Too often and too readily, we tend to look around and dismiss those who we see as challenged, compromised, handicapped, “less than” in some way. We feel like such people would slow us down. We easily brush aside anything – or anyone – that could, in our view, bring us down rather than the other way around.
But that is simply not true. We were designed and created in order to live in community. What we see as a liability, God has likely planned to be our strength.
“But blissful are your eyes, for they see. Delighted are your ears, for they are open to hear all these things. Many prophets and godly people yearned to see these days of miracles that you’ve been favored to see. They would have given everything to hear the revelation you’ve been favored to hear.”Matthew 13:16-17