The Single Eye
“All happenings great and small are parables whereby God speaks. The art of life is to get the message.” –G.K. Chesterton
I don’t think it was just the pain that made me cry so much. As I bent to pitch some laundry down the chute, the dowel handle of the feather duster slammed into my glasses, with enough force to knock a lens out and send them flying into the dim broom closet. My eyeball was cut and so the pain was considerable, and I had every reason to be a baby about it. But my hurt wasn’t purely physical– there was some self pity seeping in. I admit this with some shamefacedness. I was getting tired of suffering, and I voiced my complaint! Yet I was also afraid, until I could brave trying to open it, that I had lost my eye. All those tears were hot and tasted like blood.
The eye is miraculously quick to repair itself, so the severe pain was gone by the next day, but my face looked as if I’d had a beating. And I had to deal with the bruise to my soul.
Even that was beginning to heal. My spiritual eyes were soothed in the salve of the grace of God. I was humbled by God’s kindness: the nurse at the hospital marveling at my broken glasses, and saying “Someone was looking out for you!” ( oh, that I had directed him to Jesus, Lord of All!) I was humbled by the marvelous sovereignty of our loving Father– because of conjunctivitis in my left eye, I was wearing those shielding glasses which absorbed most of the impact of that blow.
But chiefly I was humbled as I sought Him about a single eye. He has taught me with a potent object lesson this parable once before, so an invasion serves as a warning to be vigilant. Once, I was worshiping at church when my eye suddenly clouded with such goo I could not see clearly, and I went to rinse my contact lens in a sink. There the Lord spoke clearly to me, “Let your eye be single”, and I was convicted as I remembered the rest of the scripture, “and thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. Therefore, if the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!” (Matthew 6:22, 23).
I knew the Spirit was rebuking me for great slothfulness during a time when vigilance was needful; this was a past season of great spiritual conflict. A foolish distraction kept me up all night and made me short-tempered in the morning, and the Father sought to show me how costly that unwatchfulness could be.
Now, when I am being pressed, I try to separate myself from anything that draws strength away from the battle. Yet in this stressful season, instead of watching and praying with patience, I let my guard down, and at the worst possible time I spoke callously and hurt deeply a dear one. I was oblivious to that soul’s sense of betrayal as I half-heartedly apologized later. My heart was hard, and I felt justified; and so my eye, like my soul, crusted over with its infection; and it stayed half shut until I bowed down, stopped grumbling and submitted to the discipline of the Lord.
I am so thankful for that spanking of conjunctivitis. It protected me when the enemy, the one who is a destroyer of everything, desired to put out my eye. The hand of the Lord deflected the blow. What a contrast between the enemy’s designs and the Father’s discipline! The devil seeks to dishearten, discourage and shift our attention so we forget that our God is good. Our Father, in His loving correction, seeks only that we would fall back into His arms again, back into the blessing of His tender care.
I have fallen back into the Father, He has restored my soul; I have my gaze back onto my Lord.
And how excellent it is to see Him clearly again.