What was the first thing you bought for yourself when you were old enough to earn a little money?
For me it was contact lenses – lavender contact lenses because I had read somewhere that Elizabeth Taylor had lavender eyes and I thought she was the most beautiful woman in the world. They looked absolutely ridiculous and as soon as I could afford a new pair I changed them to clear with a slight tint of blue.
All my life I had worn thick, heavy magnifying glasses to compensate for my far sightedness. For one awful year I was unmercifully teased by a bully, who rode on my school bus, about both my glasses and my name. When he saw my huge eyes magnified beneath the pale blue frames of my glasses, he began calling me, “the blonde beast from outer space.” When that lost its shock value, he began a personal campaign to belittle and humiliate me over having the name Penny and switched his taunts to “One cent, one cent, nothing but a one cent.” The insulting mantra was accompanied by endless degrading remarks relating to my value and worth as a human being.
The agony of those months ended the day my grandfather found me crying on my after school walk to home through his garden. His loving insistence to tell him what was troubling me eventually broke my dam of embarrassed resistance and, through a flood of tears and earthshaking sobs, I spilled the story liked a cracked egg. When I finished he looked at me and said, “Well, you know, they’re right. You are ‘One Cent’.” I could not believe my ears. How could this be? Grandpa, my grandpa, was agreeing with my tormentors. Then he went on to say, “You are ‘One Cent’. You are one sent from heaven and you’re my special angel. Remember that each time they call you ‘One Cent’ and smile because you know it’s true.” And just like that, the words of a bully lost their power!
The bullying eventually subsided but the reality of big eyes beneath thick glasses remained an issue until I had enough money for an appointment with the ophthalmologist. On the day the doctor moistened my first pair of gas permeable, hard contact lenses and placed on my eyes, it was a moment for me as miraculous as the moment Jesus moistening the earth with His saliva to heal a man born blind. John Chapter 9 Ever since that day, I have worn and thanked God for the miracle of contact lenses.
Imagine my surprise when, on this year’s annual eye appointment, I discovered my days of wearing contact lenses would soon come to an end. As part of the cataract surgery I will soon have, the doctor will be placing permanent lenses in my eyes to correct my vision. Wonder of wonders, miracle of miracles, by the end of this summer I will be able to wake up and, without glasses or contact lenses, clearly see my way to the kitchen and the mug I use for my morning cup of tea.
The tinge of trepidation I have mixed with my high hopes for this procedure were met with joyful expectation as I visited the doctor’s office and saw a glass bowl sitting on the receptionist’s desk. The bowl, filled with glasses discarded by patients who no longer needed them, made my eyes rim with tears as the receptionist explained, “We call it, ‘sharing the vision’. The glasses are collected and then donated to the Lion’s Club for their Recycle for Sight Program that enables millions of people in developing nations without access to basic eye care services to be able to see.
As followers of Christ we have a similar opportunity to “Share the Vision” of the gospel with a world whose minds have been blinded by the god of this world, the devil, also known as the prince of darkness. 2 Corinthians 4:4 How I thank God that someone once cared enough about me to lead me out of the darkness to Jesus, the Light of the World. And you can do the same.
LOOK OUT for ways to help others.
Continue to ask God to open your eyes to the truths He has for you and then for opportunities, in His perfect way and timing, to share the vision with others.