It's dusk when I finally leave the eye doctor's office, the children asleep before I exit the city limits and aim the van due north towards home.
Praise music plays in the background, a slight mist on my windshield to warn of blessed storms moving in for the night. This is the quietest moment I've had all day, but I don't really hear the words I know by heart. Instead, the words glorifying "Jesus" are overpowered by the scrawny young doctor's smile and his rapid-fire chair-side manner probably the result more of his tardiness than nervousness.
"So, have you noticed a change in your distance vision?"
Uh...not until you dilated my eyes so I can't even tell time on my watch if I wanted to. I'm the one who still stands across the room and reads the scrolling news at the bottom of the TV screen. Really? Me?
My confusion is evident.
"It's just two clicks," he reassures, pointing to the machine that looks more like some medieval torture device than something used for good, to perfect my no longer perfect vision. "I'm going to give you the prescription, but it's optional. Maybe for when you drive at night."
Then, he drives his positive message home: "You're just one step away from perfect."
I can't help but laughing out loud. If only he knew how many steps away from perfect I really am. It seems my vision might be finally starting to catch up with who I really am, the windows to my soul finally coming to grips with my sinfulness and taking a step back from the holy bar of perfection it knows it has no legal claim to.
I continue my path towards home, this twinge of my mortality weighing heavy in my running conversation with God. What else is there to do in traffic with sleeping children but pray?
My pupils the size of peanut M&Ms, every headlight looks like the star over Bethlehem with their icicle-like points radiating outward, each traffic signal aglow with red and green halos. "Why my distance vision, God? If anything, I'd expect my close up vision to deteriorate with age. Not this."
I remember husband's eyes improving over the past year; eyes are always changing shape. I haven't been to the eye doctor since I was ten. Perhaps this is just another one of those lurking post-twin-pregnancy changes like going up another shoe size.
The dialogue continues. I give voice to the fears this simple diagnosis reveals lurking in my heart. And He responds, reminding me that sight is not merely of the eyes. Although I have to look up the verses later to see them in their entirety, He speaks the Words of Jeremiah over me, saying, "Now hear this, O foolish and senseless people, Who have eyes but do not see" (v.21), the Words of Jesus saying of the masses that "while seeing they do not see" (Matt. 13:13).
There is peace in the reminder that sometimes the blind are the ones who see best, that physical sight imperfections such as this are easily remedied and temporal. It's the soul sight that is a miracle and of eternal value.
As I finally take off the sun glasses, I do smile at the irony in all this. Over the past seven years of in-depth Bible study, my soul's distance vision has only grown more perfect. With each passing season, I glean a less cloudy picture of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.
The old hymn speaks wisdom here.
"Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace."
The important thing is not that my distance vision is no longer perfect, but that my soul's distance vision continues shifting its sight from this dim world that is fading fast to what awaits for me beyond.