My eyesight started to worsen back in high school, but it wasn’t a big deal. By the time I was in law school, I needed glasses for driving because I couldn’t even make out the eye chart at the DMV. Eventually, I wore glasses all the time. My far distance vision stunk.
Near vision was good, though. I could read without glasses just fine. Every word was sharp on the page. The optometrist said it was because each of my eyes had an astigmatism that wouldn’t let me focus at a distance but sharpened my focus up close. That’s great for someone who likes to read. So I took my glasses of for reading.
Then we had kids. Newborn babies are easy to hold, but when they transition from infant to toddler they get grabby. It’s a wonderful feeling when your child reaches up and rubs your cheek or grabs your ear or hair. Very sweet.
When you wear glasses, it means they have something else to grab and your frames become a plaything they reach out for. Our son took my glasses off my face regularly. The regular dislodgement was cute at first. He’d knock them askew and I’d straighten them out and we’d repeat this until one of us got tired of it.
He got a little bigger, which meant a little stronger, and he was no longer knocking them askew. He was taking them right off. Not in a gentle way, but pulling them out to the side or down my nose and completely off. He bent the frame constantly. A couple times he even bent the earpiece off completely.
I took my glasses to the optometrist to get the frame repaired more than once.
When our daughter was born a couple years later I remembered my lesson about babies and eyeglasses and asked my optometrist about contact lenses. He prescribed them and I learned how to put them in and take them out: pull eyelids open vertically to lay it on the lens, pull eyelid back at the side to pop the lens out. I was good to go. Now I could see far distances, didn’t have to remember where I’d laid my glasses after taking them off for reading, and could hold our new baby without wondering when she’d start wrenching glasses off my face.
Then we were at church one night. The event was over and everyone was walking to their cars when I stopped to talk to someone. Our daughter was at the grabby stage between infancy and toddlerhood and was reaching for my face as I stood there holding her in the dimly lit parking lot. No glasses for her to bend into a pretzel, yay!
She reached up to my eye, poked her finger in at the side, and pushed my eyelid back. The contact lens then did what it was designed to do. It popped right out. Onto the asphalt. Of a large parking lot. In the dark.
So much for my plans of avoiding ruined lenses when holding little ones.
I reached 40 and my vision in one eye was 300/20 and the other was 400/20. The only time my eyes could see clearly was when I brought something right up close under my nose. Otherwise I had trouble reading a clock on the wall without my contacts.
I went to an ophthalmologist and had surgery on my eyeballs. Complete success. I no longer needed glasses for driving, or even seeing clocks on walls. Everything at a distance was in sharp focus.
My near vision suffered, though, as I developed what everyone tends to get after age 40. The need for reading glasses. At first it was only when my eyes got tired but now almost 20 years later I use them for everything up close. I have pairs of reading glasses stashed throughout the house, in the glove boxes in our cars, and at work.
I’ve traded one vision for another, near for far.
God speaks of visions as well, warning against false sight …
This is what the Lord Almighty says: “Do not listen to what the prophets are prophesying to you; they fill you with false hopes. They speak visions from their own minds, not from the mouth of the Lord.” (Jeremiah 23:16.)
… and providing true sight.
And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days. (Joel 2:28-29, Acts 2:17-18.)
God wants to trade our false vision for true. Better than glasses, contacts or surgery, the Holy Spirit provides the ability not only to see clearly but to speak clearly of what we see. Visions of God and prophecy of God reveal God to us and to others.