Eyes Wide Open

Each month I write an article for a local magazine called Up In Cumming.  As always, I like to share them with you, too.  October’s issue was themed Fall Fashion….something right up my alley!  Dive in:

My future’s so bright I have to wear shades.

Or, maybe it’s just my blue eyes.  Studies have shown that blue irises allow more unwanted light into the retina than brown irises.  In layman’s terms, people with blue eyes squint more in bright light than others do, which explains why I have so many pairs of sunglasses: two in my car, one in my purse, one at home, and of course, a “standby” pair in case one of the other four meets a sad demise.  Let’s just say I like to be prepared.

When a local ophthalmologist explained the benefits of polarized sunglasses, I was intrigued.  Polarized glasses protect eyes from harmful UV rays and intense light – something my fashion lenses didn’t do.  So I made a quick trip to the North Georgia Premium Outlets, and thirty minutes later my eyes were protected by uber cute, polarized shades.

I was amazed by my new view as I drove home.  Colors were more vivid, and even though sunlight was reflecting brightly off the clouds, my eyes were wide open.  No squinting for me.

But, something else caught my attention – small white circles on the back window of my car.  At first, I thought my kids had been up to no good, but that wasn’t the case.  When I removed the polarized lenses, the dots vanished.  Put them on again, and the dots covered my window.  Apparently, my new glasses gave me some sort of super power to see things that I couldn’t see otherwise.

I did some online research to investigate my new-found super hero status, and it turns out that other people with polarized glasses often see similar dots.  Whether caused by the UV film the auto makers use or a lamination feature to prevent the glass from shattering, polarized glasses allow us to see the dots.  In short, my glasses help me see things that are hidden from plain sight.

Oh, how I wish we all had spiritual lenses that would allow us to see beyond the surface to what may be hidden beneath.  Maybe those glasses would help us understand each other better.  If we could see beyond the pat answer of “fine” when we ask someone how they are doing, we might discover they’ve had a rough day.  If we could see beyond the reclusive nature of our co-worker, we might learn how to best engage them.  If we could see beyond the perfect smiles so many of us present, we might realize most people deal with private struggles that affect the way they behave and interact.

Maybe if we had that kind of spiritual vision, we’d cut each other a little more slack.  We’d extend a little less impatience and a little more grace.  A little less hurry and a little more time.  A little less me and a little more you.  Having that sort of spiritual eyesight would help us give each other the benefit of the doubt and meet heartfelt needs.

Actually, we don’t need special glasses for that.  Scripture says that God has given us eyes to see and ears to hear.  Not to see and hear the physical side of life, but the spiritual – to see the need of our neighbor or the hurt of a friend.  We simply need to take the time to notice.

As our families dive into a busy fall season, let’s do it with eyes wide open.  Put on your spiritual lenses and see the people around you as they really are – people with feelings, goals, families, hurts, victories, and yes, even colorful lives.  Take time to get to know them….the real them.  The time you spend just might make you a super hero in their eyes.

Ears to hear and eyes to see – both are gifts from the Lord. Proverbs 20:12 


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