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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

A Patch from My Past

When I was a kid, I had horrible eyesight. One eye was lazy, my right eye, so I had to wear a patch over my left eye for most of my first grade year. It was black like a pirate patch, so even though the six-yr-old boys thought it was cool, it was so NOT COOL to me. If that wasn’t embarrassing enough, I was also really far-sighted, so I had to wear big thick lenses with bifocals. And for those of you who don’t know, they didn’t make the lenses thin and unobtrusive like they do nowadays. I truly did have four eyes!

So I had a pirate patch on my left eye, bold black frames, and a great big eyeball, my right one, magnified through the bifocal. I looked like Mr. Magoo meets Popeye!

But here’s the irony. While everyone was going through all this trouble to help me see better, all I really wanted was to be blind to my circumstances.

Why? Because through those lenses, I saw hate. I saw abuse & pain. I saw drunkenness & anger & despair. I saw beautiful things too, but the ugliness of my circumstances shoved the good out of my mind’s eye. I had a serious astigmatism deep down in my heart and soul that needed correcting, and a patch wasn’t going to do the trick.

As I grew up, my eyesight improved some. No more bifocals, a bit thinner lenses, a little more style in those frames. At the same time, my spiritual eyes were seeing more clearly too. My circumstances didn’t change, but I began to see God magnified through them instead of the other way around.

I began to see how God had been there for me as a young hurting child, and how He had comforted me each time I called out to Him in desperation and fear. And by His grace, He revealed to me that He was not only my Comforter, but my Redeemer as well. He corrected my vision with 2 Corinthians 5:7, showing my lazy eye that if I would “live by faith” and “not by sight,” I would see Him up close and personal, big and tall—fully able.

If you could see me now, you wouldn’t see any eyeglasses on my face. But I’m wearing some…because my gracious Father offered me a pair. I call them my Faith-colored glasses. Through them, He has become larger to me than any circumstance I faced in the past or will face today or in the future. Through them, I see His light instead of darkness. Through them, I see hope and strength enough for each new day.

What about you? Do negative situations, big, small or medium cause you to take your eyes off God’s ability to help you through them? Is the Lord in your peripheral vision while your circumstances stand large in front of you? Are you squinting to see any beauty from the ashes of your past? Do you see only hopelessness in your future?

I wish I could say that I never put my faith-colored glasses on the shelf, but I do. So friends, let’s challenge one another to live God large. Let’s commit to see life—past, present & future--through His eyes, walking by faith and not by sight.

“I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened
in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you,
the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints,
and His incomparably great power for us who believe…”
Ephesians 1:18-19a

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Blogger I am blessed! said...

Thanks for the good reminder to stay focused on the Lord!

September 15, 2009 at 8:18 AM  
Anonymous alisa said...

What a beautiful story! I love how you wove in your past experience into your today understanding. I love looking back and seeing how God was always there!

BTW I have a lazy eye, and I was supposed to wear a patch. I threw a fit and never did. To this day, my left eye has very poor sight!

September 15, 2009 at 8:49 AM  
Blogger Joanne Sher said...

Incredible reminder for ALL of us. I so need those faith-colored glasses, much more than I use them!

September 15, 2009 at 1:22 PM  
Anonymous Laurel@FromMyHeartToYours said...

Oh Laura Lee, how nice to see you friend. I really need a hug today, you have warmed my heart with a godly reminder.

Hugs from Canada

September 15, 2009 at 2:52 PM  
Blogger Pttyann said...

What a wonderful word of encouragement this is Laura Lee,thanks so much for sharing.And how I long for God to magnify himself through me so that others will see Jesus.
Love ya

September 15, 2009 at 2:57 PM  
Blogger Irritable Mother said...

These thoughts make me think of one of my favorite songs:
Turn your eyes upon Jesus
Look full in His wonderful face
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace

He always makes us see better!
Thanks for sharing your story.

September 15, 2009 at 6:25 PM  
Blogger Denise said...

Thanks for touching my heart, love you dear one.

September 16, 2009 at 12:36 AM  
Blogger elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Faith colored glasses; oh how I pray for vision like this, LauraLee. How thankful I am for the one God who carries us in our formative years; who keeps us all the more. You are living proof of how God can weave his grace and story into a difficult situation and make it all shine for his extraordinary glory! Truly, his kingdom shines through you.


September 16, 2009 at 12:34 PM  
Blogger Patty Wysong said...

I love this Laura--and that's an understatement. :)
Thanks for this--it's a great image and reminder!

September 16, 2009 at 10:01 PM  
Blogger LauraLee Shaw said...

Thanks, it's no accident it was published today. I needed the words back for my own application. Especially this question: "Is the Lord in your peripheral vision while your circumstances stand large in front of you?" This is what I struggle with a good majority of the time. I usually have to shut my eyes when that is the case, pray, and open them to see Him right there larger than life itself yet again. Oh, how I love the Lord, how He proves Himself over and over.

September 17, 2009 at 8:43 AM  
Anonymous Amy Miller said...

This is a beautiful story, we must walk by faith and not what we see. Ihave seen God's love and am so thankful He listened when I called, how could the God of the universe, hear me and love me? But He does with an unfailing love.

September 18, 2009 at 2:20 PM  
Blogger Laury said...

I wish I would have known the little girl Laura but so glad God put you in my life 'for such a time as this.' You always point me upwards and and encourage me continually. Thank you for sharing more about yourself.

September 20, 2009 at 10:21 PM  

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