I Can Be Your Eyes

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When Mark and I first started dating, he revealed to me that he had an eye disease called RP (Retinitis Pigmentosa). There is no cure and it is a progressive eye disease which eventually leads to blindness. Being married to someone with a progressive eye disease brings a whole new dynamic to a marriage. Part of my wedding vow to Mark should have read “I promise to watch out for you and not let you walk into those yellow ‘Wet Floor’ signs. I promise to steer you clear of lolly-columns and telephone poles. And when we are climbing around the rocks near the ocean, I promise to save you from stepping off the ledges into the water.” Being Mark’s “Seeing Eye Wife” (and I told him that I refuse to wear the harness that you see service dogs wearing!!), I sometimes feel as though I’ve stepped out of the role of being his wife and stepped into the role of being his mother or caregiver. We’ve had many conversations about his continued loss of vision and what our future will look like. I’ve told him that I want him to be totally honest with me when he feels as though I am hovering over him too much or keeping him back from doing something he wants to do. Recently, while we were visiting one of our favorite falls in Maine, I asked him if I was being too cautious. Mark told me that if I see he’s headed for danger, he most definitely wants me to warn him (well, duh!) and that he trusts me to keep him safe. He relies on me to see for him, to be his eyes in dark restaurants or other places, to warn him when he’s headed for something that will cause him harm.
While I was thinking about my role as his additional set of eyes, the Holy Spirit tapped me on the shoulder and asked, “Isn’t that kind of what I do for you?” God sees what’s ahead for us and does what He can to protect us from pain and heartache. Instead of a cane or seeing eye dog, God gives us His word to direct us and keep us on a safe path.

Psalm 119:105 says:

thy word

And sometimes, I get distracted by something shiny and forget that Mark is relying on me to make sure his path is clear of any obstacles. Only when he bumps his shin or runs into something am I brought back to what I was supposed to be focusing on: his safety and what’s ahead of him! Isn’t that the same thing that happens to us believers when we take our eyes off what we should be focusing on? And then when something in life comes our way because of our lack of focus, we realize that if we had just been listening to that still small voice or had been using the “lamp/light” (His Word) that has been given to us, we may have avoided this pain or obstacle.

What a comfort knowing that God sees further down the road than we do. What a comfort that our loving Father sees that the pain and heartache that we are experiencing now and knows that there is greater purpose that will one day be revealed to us. And what a comfort to know that God never gets distracted and forgets to be our “eyes”! What a comfort to know that one day, when Mark arrives in Heaven, his eyesight will be perfect!

And now I need to go because goodness knows what type of mischief Mark has gotten into because I haven’t been keeping an eye on him.

What’s in your closet?

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Have you ever just opened your closet and thought “Why on earth am I still holding on to this hideous shirt/skirt/dress, etc.?!”   The last few days I’ve been thinking about what outfits I’ve been wearing and I wish someone had told me how disheveled and unattractive I was.  Oh and I’m not talking about my physical appearance.  I’m talking about my spiritual appearance.  Today, I took a personal day off from work to do some Fall Cleaning in my Spiritual Closet, just a day to spend some quiet time with my Dad and take inventory of the pieces that I want to hold on to and pieces that need to be tossed, not passed on to anyone else because some pieces don’t look good on anyone!!  So, why don’t you sit on the edge of my bed as I pull some pieces of clothing out of my spiritual closet and you let me know if it’s a “keep” or a “toss”.

First piece:  oooohhh, what is this lovely piece?  Oh, right, lately I’ve been wearing this one waaaay too many times!  Remember the shoulder pads of the ’80’s?  Remember how they basically needed their own zip code?  This shirt that I’m holding up now is my “Chip On My Shoulder” shirt!  Talk about huge shoulder pads!  Why do I get so easily annoyed or offended by what people say to me or about me?  This is an easy decision: toss! It’s been worn so many times by me that it’s looking a little raggy.

Next piece: ooooh, the Pants of Pessimism!  Oh and what’s this stain on the front?  Oh, right..this stain is when I spilled my cup of half empty drink on myself.  Looks like I’ve spilled a few half empty cups on these pants.  When did I change from my Pants of Optimism to these hideous things?  Yuck! Toss!!

Next:  Ugh! This thing is horrible!  Yes, my Gown of Gloom!  At what point in my life did I think this was a good purchase?  Wait, what is this bag of party hats doing hanging from the hanger?  Oh, yes, now I remember:  the bag of party items are pulled out when I put my Gown of Gloom on because, really, how can you have a pity party without party hats. This gown looks like it’s been worn waaaay too many times, usually while the song “Nobody Knows the Troubles I’ve Seen” is playing in the background. Toss!

As I pull out these different, horrible, ugly pieces, I feel the Holy Spirit tap me on the shoulder and ask me to go on a little “Spiritual Clothing buying spree” with Him, and the best part:  He’s footing the bill!

What pieces is He asking me to purchase?  I find His clothing shopping list in the book of Colossians, chapter 3 to be exact! Verses 12 and 14 list what all the well dressed Christians are wearing…or should be wearing.

vs 12b: ..”clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”  Well, I think way back in my closet I may have had some of these items but they look a wee bit dusty from not being worn in a while. Oh, look, the Gentleness and Patience pieces still have their tags on them!  Ooops!  Guess I don’t need to buy any more of these, I just need to start wearing the pieces I already owned.

vs 14: “And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.”  Love…such a small word, a word that gets thrown around so easily like “I love pizza!” or “I love my books!”  I need to stop throwing this word around so carelessly and start really thinking about what I set my affections on, or how I treat those that I love.

I was recently talking with a friend and told her that lately I’ve been feeling easily angered and easily annoyed about little things.  It didn’t take me long to figure out why I was feeling this way.  My daily bible reading had become pretty sporadic.  Our spiritual lives are a lot like our physical lives.  We can’t expect to look all buff and in shape if we aren’t working out and exercising (that subject is a whole other issue with me, but we won’t go there today!) I can’t expect to be spiritual fit or donning the spiritual garments available to me if I’m not exercising or reaching into my spiritual closet.  So, I’ve set this afternoon aside to spend some real quality time with my Heavenly Dad and ask for His forgiveness and help in becoming spiritually fashionable again.

And for those of you who are more into the Middle Ages look, check out Ephesians 6:10-17.  There’s a whole Armor of God look that’s pretty popular in the Christian Fashion circle.

Oh, and does anyone know if the Attleboro Area Yard Sale facebook page will let me post these horrendous pieces that I’m getting rid of?! Yeah, you’re right, I should just take them out to the fire pit and burn them.  Does anyone really look good wearing the Gown of Gloom or the Pants of Pessimism? I didn’t think so either.