For several years, I had the opportunity to travel on medical mission teams with Mercy International. As a non-medical person, I wasn’t sure exactly how helpful I could be, but I found two roles where I was a productive member of the team. One of these roles was as a pharmacy tech. The other was giving eye exams and fitting patients with custom eyeglasses. I found profound satisfaction in taking a patient who had walked in with poor vision and watching them walk out with greatly improved vision. It was so wonderful to see a child’s face light up when they were able to clearly see their mother’s face for the first time, or to see a little old woman remove a Bible from her purse and read without squinting. And of course, the most amazing experience was Yolanda, who walked in legally blind and walked out seeing 20/20!
I’m diligent about getting my eyes checked. Macular degeneration runs in my family; my grandfather went totally blind in the last years of his life. I try to make sure that I take care of my vision as well as I can. But sometimes, no matter how hard I try, things happen to my vision that are out of my control. Like last year, when a mistake was made on my prescription, and I was given glasses that ruined my depth perception. I couldn’t pretend there was nothing wrong… that would have been an accident waiting to happen. And there was nothing I could do to fix the glasses. I simply had to give them back to the optician and have them remade by someone who knew better than I did.
I don’t always see life clearly, either. Oh, I try. But sometimes my lenses are dirtied or fogged by emotions, assumptions, misconceptions, or opinions. When my hands are dirty, I can’t clean my glasses. And when my glasses are broken, I can’t fix them. At those times, even if I think I’m seeing clearly, sometimes I’m not. And a lot of the time, deep down, I know better.
In Chapter 11 of The Hiding Place, Corrie tells the story of her interrogations by a lieutenant, who ends up being captivated with hearing Corrie talk about her life, her family, and even her faith. And when the lieutenant debated with Corrie, she said something that I found enlightening.
“The truth, sir,” I said, swallowing, “is that God’s viewpoint is sometimes different from ours – so different that we could not even guess at it unless He had given us a Book which tells us such things.” (ebook location 3026)
And there, I’m taken back to the book of James.
“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” James 1:5 NIV
This post is part of a weekly discussion on Corrie ten Boom’s classic, “The Hiding Place.” You do not have to read the book to weigh in on whatever topic is being discussed. However, if you have written a response to this week’s chapter, go visit Jason, my co-facilitator, at Connecting to Impact, to link it up at the widget and to see what he has to say.