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Vision Problem  

 

Do you have a vision problem?

If you're like me, you easily miss some of life's poignant moments.

Example? I'm in Florida, walking around Ponte Vedra’s Bird Island Park. Think palm trees, tropical bushes, and exotic birds. These are what grab your immediate attention. The wood-planked walking path sweeping the pond at Bird Island offers soul-refreshing views, especially if you have just arrived from winter-weary Chicago as we have.

Inevitably, your gaze fixes on the mirrored reflection of the gazebo in the water. The glassy upside-down image is so perfect you're confident that if you had a canvas and some oil paints, you could create a masterpiece worthy of Monet. Almost.

But since you are from Chicago and not used to the intensity of a Florida sun, you seek the shade of that gazebo. You see nothing but liquid tranquility when peering into the dark water beneath its overhang.

Eventually—maybe—you notice what appear to be tiny scraps of driftwood. Or are those leaves? I am about to dismiss them until, upon further inspection, I see they are heads of living creatures—turtles!

They swim toward you as if on a mission. And they are! These foot-long turtles are hungry and hope you toss them a snack.

As they swim by, they are careful to stay just beneath the surface except for an occasional glance above the water. And when they do look, it's more of a forlorn stare—if turtles can do that.

They remind me of the hurting people around us: easy to miss as they struggle to keep their heads above water. To uncaring eyes, they are little more than human driftwood. But make no mistake—they are people with eternal souls. Not to mention immediate needs.

So often, we don't see them. We have a vision problem. A problem made worse by our tendency to judge first: "These people wouldn't be in this predicament if they only…" (and we're "sure" we know precisely why).

 

O God,

Forgive us for not seeing them.

And for presuming to judge them when we do.

Give us your eyes to see, Jesus.

Give us your heart to care—more than criticize.

Heal us of our vision problem, Jesus.

Amen. 

 

 

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Jon GaugerJon Gauger

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