scrape your lenses

by Kristen

“Scrape your lenses!”

That was a constant refrain when I was a child. My glasses-wearing dad could not understand how my brother and I saw through the layers of smudges, water spots and accumulated grime on our glasses.

I traded the glasses for contacts at the end of elementary school, and during college I had Lasik. But as my twenties waned I again found myself sporting non-optional eyewear.

I no longer need my dad’s reminder—I clean my glasses faithfully.

But his words still reverberate.

My vision clouds so easily. I find myself squinting through the buildup of bitterness and worry. Doubt and insecurity insidiously layer on top. A dusting of noise and busyness mixes in.

And then a voice cuts through, “Scrape your lenses!”

Oh, those are never the actual words being said, but they’re the translation my heart hears. They come in the concern of a colleague over my reaction to a situation at work, the observation of a friend in a small group, a sermon that seems to be aimed directly at me, the scent of roses and lemon blossoms the breeze wafts my way, the uninhibited laughter of a child . . .

Suddenly it’s clear I’ve been looking through the glass dimly; unaware my sight was altered. I need the reminder to be wary of complacent, lazy, myopic spiritual vision: scrape your lenses, Kristen . . . scrape your lenses.


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