Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Deciphering What Is Real

One of the biggest mistakes I made when I originally lost my eye sight was to rely too heavily on my failing vision to connect me with what I could see. A broken piece of you is not your best resource for survival.
If you broke your right leg, would you take all the weight off of your left and lean on the broken bone? Of course not, but that's what I did.
I didn't get the training I needed to get around correctly as a blind person until I was thirty. Before that, I was a little reckless and just felt my way around relying on that broken part to make up the difference. When my husband Erik was around, I held onto him and used him as my recognizable land mark to keep me oriented. A great system...unless we got separated. I know it sounds all sweet and romantic, us going everywhere together hand-in-hand, but the realities were it couldn't work in the real world. I couldn't spend my life following him around, hoping where he went was all I wanted. Anymore than he could give up everything to be my seeing-eye husband. This fact was made apparent to me one Saturday in Home Depot after we'd been married about six months.
He was looking for screws, or nails, or bolts, or some other totally uninteresting lumber yard thing. I was bored out of my mind, following him around while he stroked the power tools and inspected the threads of every steel fastener in the store. He was wearing a t-shirt, a pair of jean shorts, and a baseball hat. When Erik and I were first married, I had some vision. In my limited sight his hat was dark blue, or black. His t-shirt was white. His shorts were a faded blue. As was my habit, I held the bottom hem of his t-shirt as we strolled up and down the aisles of the hardware store. When we stopped so he could handle some nails or something, I let go of his shirt and turned a little bit away from him to run my fingers over the items on the aisle. I'm a tactile person. It only took a second or two until I rotated back to take the hem of his shirt once again.
I didn't think twice about the man beside me, dark blue cap, white t-shirt, faded jean shorts, until an unfamiliar voice cleared with a cough. "Um...I don't think I am who you think I am."
I almost jumped clear out of my skin. The man beside me chuckled under his breath as Erik walked back over to me and took my hand.
I'm sure I mumbled a lame apology, and hid my mortified, blushing face all the way out of the store while Erik laughed. I still think about how much worse it would have been if I'd slid my hand into his back pocket the way I do with Erik sometimes. I have done much more embarrassing things since then. I've even learned to laugh when I accidentally grope some unsuspecting person. However, the moral here is...relying on our own flawed perceptions will always end up with your hand clinging to the wrong guide.
The world is full of social causes, fashion fads, cool trends, and well meaning people who rely on their own flawed perceptions and then want you on board to prove they are right. Anytime our idea of what's right comes in conflict with God's idea's about what's right, we automatically assume that it is His thinking that is flawed.
When ever I turn off my brain and focus on the clues around me I figure out the truth. However I have to collect the ideas,perceptions, and emotions of those around me. If i feel confused, angry, afraid, or mean I know I'm holding onto the wrong guide. If my influences compell me to love, encourage, forgive, and believe in goodness, then I am hand-in-hand with my Savior.
Even when Christ disagreed with the pharisees he never tore them down. When The Romans mocked and crucified him, he never fought against them. When his own Jewish brothers and sisters betrayed him, he only asked His Father to forgive them.
Don't be afraid to reach out to the person beside you, even if you don't agree with them. Love, forgive, and encourage them. If you find out you're holding onto the wrond person you might end up making a friend. You will definitely end up with a good laugh.
What could be wrong with that? 


  1. Thank you for sharing. You are a beautiful person.

    1. Thanks for reading Chhantelle, and for the kind words.