I Know What You’re Seeing.

Last week I went in to get my eyes checked. It’s been a few years since my last check up and new pair of glasses. The pair I’m currently sporting have been with me to a lot of places; they’ve gone to Cambodia and Thailand, spent countless hours on planes and in airport terminals, and they’ve been on many long moto drives out to Phnom Sompov to watch the bats fly out of their cave at dusk. They’ve taken falls and hits, have been banged up and bent, and are showing how well loved they’ve been. They even flew off my face one day as I was driving when I hit a massive pothole. I had to turn around to find them, all the while hoping that they hadn’t been run over by another motorist. They are scratched and worn and make it difficult to see clearly. 

All this to say, I went to the eye doctor last week because I need a new pair of glasses. It wasn’t long before I was brought back to the exam room, shook hands with the doctor, and we dove into a question and answer forum about my current prescription, the possibility of contacts, what kind, how much wear, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. He seemed like he lived his life with a sense of urgency, like everything has to be rushed. Even his speaking was rushed and he had this habit of moving on to the next question or statement before I had even finished whatever it was that I was saying. He was very good at predicting what it was I was going to say. Now that I think of it, he would probably make an excellent chess player with his ability to anticipate. 

And so when he said what he said, he said it so abruptly and moved on from it so quickly that I tripped over his words when he said them:

“I know what you’re seeing.” 

What he meant was he knew what I was seeing because he had had the same eyesight I have prior to his Lasik surgery. For a brief moment, I just kind of stared at him. You know what I see? You know what my eyesight is? You’ve seen it too? He kept talking, on to the next question, and I stammered out answers. It wasn’t until later in the evening that I remembered what he had said and really thought about it. 

You’re a really good shepherd

You lead me so well

I trust in Your leadership

I sing along with the worship band at church and write these words down both in my journal and in my heart. I hear his words again, “I know what you’re seeing.” As I sing, I remembered the man who held lenses up to my eyeballs and blinded me with a flashlight to look inside.

People have said that the eyes are the windows to the soul, so I think it’s only appropriate that someone would hold up a bright light into mine. What did he see when he peered deep inside? Did my eyes betray me and give away all of my secrets? Did they tell him of the tears they had let fall not even an hour before? Did they show him all the beauty and pain they had seen? Did that light illuminate the darkest corners of my soul? 

There is no lost cause in God

No hopelessness in Him who gives hope

I sing these words, too, and think about the tears from earlier, how they fell out of a place of self-pity, discontent, and forgetfulness.

That’s the moment I recognized how silently I had stood before God, how the last few weeks have been pregnant with words that I couldn’t bring myself to speak out. My well had run dry because I had adamantly refused to fill it up. I found it so difficult to speak to the Father, so I stood there with my head down and hadn’t said anything at all.

Part of me is angry, I finally realize, but I can’t figure out who the anger is intended for. Am I angry at myself for falling so deep in love, or am I angry at the Father for allowing me to grow so attached? 

I can’t tell, so I cry the ugly tears and shake clenched fists up at the clouds that roll against the deep blue of the sky and curl like the underside of a wave. It feels like I’ve been caught up in the undertow, dragged along while I struggle to hold my breath and hold out hope that this ocean will soon spit me back out on the surface.

The words chime again in my mind: I know what you’re seeing. Only this time, it’s not the speed-talking eye doctor. It is the Father and he’s saying “I see you, I see what you’re seeing.”

Sweet, sweet wind of the Spirit

Come blow on my heart

“But you’re not seeing what I see.” The words hit like a ton of bricks on my lungs and I am sucking in air and this time my eyes really do betray me as the Light shines in, and tears as salty as the Dead Sea float me to the surface again.

I lean back in my chair and wrap my arms around myself and hug tight. My whisper cuts through the music straight into the ear of the Father, “You’re a really good shepherd, and You lead me so well. I trust in Your leadership.” 

And now I’m standing on the shoreline as gentle waves kiss my feet, apologizing time and again for dragging me under. 

“I always finish what I start,” He reminds me. 

Sweet, sweet wind of the Spirit

“I know what you’re seeing,” he had said, unaware of the Truth he was speaking. 

Sweet, sweet wind of the Spirit

I went to one seeking new glasses, but another seeks to restore my vision. 


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