My only previous experience with contact lenses was in eleventh grade when a classmate tried on my girlfriend’s (now my wife of thirty-seven years) hard contact lens. He immediately shut his eye, closed his fist, and held it tightly to his eyebrow. After what seemed an eternity, probably only a couple minutes, a single tear trickled down his cheek. I do not know how he ever got the lens out, but I learned an important lesson that day. I never, ever wanted to try wearing contact lenses.
Fast forward forty years to a few weeks ago. I went to the optometrist for my first eye exam ever. No pain, no fuss. Thank you, Doctor Way. My right eye is still 20-20 and the other only slightly less so I didn’t need prescription glasses. Then I said the unthinkable, “Doc, I’d like to be able to read without glasses. What about a reading contact for one eye? Do you call it monovision?”
I had heard about monovision from a couple ladies in the church. One lady, older than I am, was able to read some fine print before I could even get my glasses out of my shirt pocket. I asked her how she did it. She replied, “I had my cataracts removed and have 20-20 vision.” “But don’t you still need glasses to read?” “No, I had one lens put in for reading.” Curious, I asked her which eye she used for reading and which one for distance. She squinted this eye than the other and replied, “This one.” It had become so automatic that she didn’t even remember which eye did what.
Dr. Way fitted me with a reading contact for my left eye and taught me how to put my contact in and how to remove it. From my friend’s high school experience, I was very interested in getting it back out. It was so simple and easy. I can’t believe I waited so many years and lost so many pairs of reading glasses before trying contacts.
After Jesus’ Triumphal entry, Greeks came to the disciples desiring to see Jesus. “Sir, we would like to see Jesus” (John 12:21b). This is a much greater request than wanting to see printed material without glasses. These guys wanted to see Jesus. Have you ever made such a request to God? The Psalmist writes, “Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law” (119:18). We often sing the chorus, “Open the eyes of my heart, Lord. I want to see You.”
As we move into the Christmas season, let us remember one of the reasons Jesus came to earth was that we might see and experience God. “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:14). Just as the church ladies encouraged me to try a reading contact, so John encourages us to see and believe in Jesus. “We have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life” (1 John 1:1).
It may be too soon to tell if I will become an advocate and witness for monovision contacts, but let me shout from the mountain top, “Jesus is real and has come in the flesh!” Jesus is real for He has come to me. Open my eyes, Lord, I want to see Jesus, everyday in everyway possible. Call upon the Lord. Try Him. You will definitely like Him. Jesus will never let you down. My prayer for you, me, and the entire world this Christmas is for God to open our eyes that we may see Jesus.
Randy Bain is the Senior Pastor of Oakland UM Church located at 1504 Bedford Street in Johnstown. You may reach him through the church website www.oaklandumc.com.