Friday, November 19, 2010


Spent much of the past weekend and early part of this week painfully aware of my eyes. When I woke up before the 5K last Saturday, my left eye was crusted shut. I had to go in and clean off the gobbly gook off of it with a warm wash cloth, but even after I did, my left eye looked rather sickly. It just looked off, it wasn't red, or even a hot pink, but the white of my eye wasn't white at all.

I pulled up "pink eye" on google to peruse some photos, and my eye didn't look nearly as bad as the wealth of pictures that popped up on my screen. I pulled down my lower lid, it didn't have an exceptionally bright color either, but all day long, my eye just seemed to run and run with a clear watery substance. It was constant.

As I went to the 5K, I thought about my eye.

As I walked the 5K, I thought about my eye.

At Ethan's two soccer games I thought about my eye, and about my foot, because it had a big painful blister from a bad sock choice in my shoe for the 5K.

That evening while I sat cuddled with my kids at the drive-in, I was constantly thinking about my eye, and my feet.

Sunday morning I woke up and my first thought was to my again crusted eye and my very sensitive feet. As I made my way to the bathroom to clean out the guck this time, I was mindful of every step I took to get there. And as I spent the day going to church and going to the movies with friends, constantly, my mind focused, again and again, on my eye and my feet.

I discovered something interesting while my eye seemed to be an issue for me, it was also an issue in my home. My oldest son was a little freaked out by the thought that I might have pink eye. He fell short of actually throwing holy water at me while making cross motions, but it was very clear, he didn't want to take any chances of catching anything from his mom. (I knew he was a freak about stomach viruses, had no idea he felt the same way about a little eye bug.)

By Monday morning my left eye seemed better, but now my right eye was bothering me a little. When I woke up they were both a little runny and a little crusty. Thankfully, my feet didn't hurt anymore, but now I was worried about what was spreading to my second eye.

I decided a trip to the doctor would be a good idea. I called and made an appointment but they couldn't see me till 11:30. I went ahead to work, and my co-worker wasn't at all happy I was there. He, like Jake, kept a wide berth between us because he was worried about exposure. He's not quite as retentive as my son. His wife is facing major surgery soon, and knowing he'll be her primary caretaker, he didn't want to take any chances for her sake.

By the time my appointment was actually approaching, I started to question whether or not I should even go. Almost all the pink had faded, the runniness seemed to have subsided, and I started to think my doctor would wonder why I was even there. But for the sake of my co-worker, his ailing wife, my children, especially the worried one, I decided I should just go check things out.

By the time the doctor came in, he could barely see what I was referring to. He said I probably did have conjunctivitis, but that in his estimation, I was on the road to recovery, and there was no point in treating it medically. It was probably viral, and I was close to having the whole episode behind me. So I left the doctor's office $75 poorer, but with little else to show for it. Except for the spiritual lesson that continually ran through my mind, the entire time I was so very aware of my eyes and my feet.

I thought it interesting how my son's focus suddenly became so profound on his own eyes, when mine were not fully healthy, and I thought to myself, "I hope he is as aware of the risks to his spiritual eyes, as he is of his physical ones." Because I happen to be certain that he is constantly surrounded by people whose spiritual eyes are far more infected than my physical ones were.

Likewise, I questioned my awareness of my own eyes and feet, as well as those around me. I suddenly became very aware of how my eyes had an ability to have a negative effect on those around me. I was a little toxic, if you will, if I was at all contagious. But the worst I had to offer was maybe a week or two of sickness that would in fact be rather easily remedied with special drops.

How much more power is there to do harm to others with what I allow my eyes to see and where I allow my feet to go in the spiritual sense? Am I as constantly aware of the need to protect, and encourage my loved ones to protect their spiritual eyes and feet every day, as I was physically for those few?

Sometimes we get so caught up in our physical bodies, that we fail to remember we are not "bodies with spirits" but rather we are "spirits with bodies." And we so focus on the temporal when it is the spiritual and eternal that needs and deserves our attention.

I am convicted by how often I allow compromise in my life and what I allow my spiritual eyes to be exposed to. The things I watch on TV, or the movies I go and see. I dismiss them, as though somehow I am immune to the exposure, that it doesn't really matter when I allow things that are unhealthy for me to be seen, sometimes repeatedly.

It makes me think of the old nursery school song, one of the few I remember from when I was very little. "Oh be careful little eyes what you see..." it sings, and it goes on to sing to the ears about what they hear, and the mouth about what it speaks, even about the feet and where they go. It sings, "For the Father up above is looking down in love, of be careful little eyes what you see." This silly sing-song has a huge depth of truth to it that is worthy of being pondered.

Why do we dwell on a temporary physical risk to inconvenience far more than we concern ourselves with the care and protection of our eternal souls... and in the name of entertainment??

I have a bit of a reputation for being legalistic, and even above and beyond in my limitations to the movies I will go and see and the like, and I am often tempted to "lighten up" for the sake of the crowd, but I have sincerely felt like these couple of days while I was so aware of my physical eyes, that God was reminding me, that the spiritual ones are of far greater worth, for doesn't it even say in the bible that if our physical eye should stumble us, it is is better to pluck it out than continue in sin? Clearly, on God's scale, spiritual matters far outweigh the physical ones, and I just don't think I am willing to compromise for a few moments of enjoyment.

I love this passage of scripture, it is one of my favorites from the book of Proverbs, and it has been running through my mind continually this past week.

My son, pay attention to what I say;
turn your ear to my words.
Do not let them out of your sight,
keep them within your heart;
for they are life to those who find them
and health to one’s whole body.
Above all else, guard your heart,
for everything you do flows from it.
Keep your mouth free of perversity;
keep corrupt talk far from your lips.
Let your eyes look straight ahead;
fix your gaze directly before you.
Give careful thought to the paths for your feet
and be steadfast in all your ways.
Do not turn to the right or the left;
keep your foot from evil.

Proverbs 4:20-27

Be careful...

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