This journey through my “golden years” continues to surprise and challenge me. My newest issue is my vision. I am going to finally get cataract surgery. “You will love it,” my friends say. “You will wonder why you waited.” “It’s a piece of cake,” they say. I have barely begun the process and I have already encountered what is for me, a big problem. Bifocals. You may be thinking, “I’ve worn bifocals for years. What’s the big deal?”
I have worn monovision contact lenses for years with few problems. With monovision, the dominant eye is corrected for distance while the other eye is corrected for near viewing. I thought I would be able to wear my contacts right up until surgery, but I was told I would need to be in bifocal glasses for a few weeks so that the eye surgeon can get accurate measurements of my corneas. Evidently wearing contacts causes a problem with measurements.
I picked out a cute pair of frames and thought wearing them for a few weeks would be no problem. Oh boy, was I wrong about that! My brain, used to monovison, and my eyes, looking through bifocal lenses, do not want to work together at all! Shapes are distorted, I can’t tell distances, and my sense of balance, already wobbly, is now even more compromised. I know this computer screen I am looking at is rectangular, but it looks more like a parallelogram. I know where I keep small salad plates, but when I pull them out they look like oblong platters. I know there is a step down into the garage, but if I don’t hold onto the wall I am going to miss it. I feel like I am living in a fun house with distorting mirrors and uneven floors. And I have picked up a few bruises by trusting my eyes. It is taking awhile for my brain and my eyes to sync. In the meantime I must trust what I know to be true, and not rely on my distorted vision.
I was thinking about how life is not always as it seems. For the community of Covenant Presbyterian Church and School, Monday morning looked like a normal day. Tucked into a pretty, upscale neighborhood in Nashville, the school looked like a safe place for children and staff. Parents dropped their children off thinking they would see them again in the afternoon. The pastor may have been working on a Palm Sunday message, not imagining that his nine-year old daughter would be murdered. Life looked safe and normal, but the evil no one could see was ready to strike.
How do we cope when tragedy strikes? When, like the tornado victims in
Alabama, all we can see is loss and devastation? When hope seems gone? It is during those times that we must trust what we know to be true. Here is what I know:
- I know that God is good. All the time. Even when the world is full of evil, God is still good.
- I know that Jesus told us that we would have troubles as long as we are on this earth. But I also know that He promised we would not have to face those troubles alone. That He would walk with us through our hard places.
- I know that God can bring good out of the worst. Even when life seems hopeless and black, there is still good. Even when our pain is screaming so loudly that we can barely hear anything else, God’s voice is stronger still. “I love you. I will care for you.”
- I know that God is sovereign. He is still on the throne and He is in control. Even when a tornado rips our world to shreds, He is not caught off guard. He still has a plan for our welfare and His glory.
- I know that even when the world strips us of everything we hold dear, He will still supply all our needs.
- I know that in our darkest hours, we must walk by faith and not by sight.