Grace Colored Glasses

Before I turned 40, I had crazy good vision. I’m talking vision so good that I could read  teeny tiny writing right up in my face and also read signs far away. So far away that people would ask “Can you really read that or do you just know what it says from seeing it before?” Additionally, I can remember my parents asking me “don’t you want me to turn the light on so you can see what you are reading?” Why bother? I could see perfectly fine in the dimly lit room.

After I turned 40, I started to notice that books and magazines were suddenly being printed in a really SMALL FONT. It didn’t make sense. Were they trying to fit more words on each page to save money? My arms weren’t long enough to hold the pages at a far enough distance where I could read them. Furthermore, I wondered what was up with all of the dim lighting? When did stores and restaurants get so dark? I needed a flashlight to see what I was buying or to order my lunch. Another thing I noticed was how many cards, invitations, advertisements, flyers, etc. were printed in some funky light-pastel-colored ink on something other than white paper. Who could possibly read it? I decided that if someone has something that actually needs to be read, it needs to be printed in black ink, Times New Roman font and on bright white paper. Exclusively.

It wasn’t until I was 40 years and 6 months old that I realized in an A-Ha moment that it was ME. No joke! It took me 6 full months to realize that the whole book, magazine, newspaper, direct mail and menu printing industries weren’t conspiring against consumers via small and difficult to read print.

I just needed reading glasses.

The moment of truth happened in a dimly lit restaurant with my husband and another couple. I was flustered that I could not read a single word of the menu. I looked around…hmmm- everyone else seemed to be able to read it just fine.

Thank goodness my vision hadn’t slipped too much. All I needed was a pair of the lowest magnification of reading glasses (1.0) from the Dollar Store. Don’t hate- the eye doctor approved of my cheap readers. I am now the proud owner of not 1 pair, but about 10. I keep them in my purse, car, living room, office, bedroom, kitchen, etc. When I meet my bunco girls for dinner, I try to throw in a couple of extra. They won’t buy their own because they “don’t need them”, but they sure like to borrow mine! The first moment I tried on my 1.0’s, it was a revelation. I CAN SEE AGAIN!!! Everything looked so different to me. It made me so grateful for the gift of sight.

Another thing has happened to my vision over time. This one is a positive change, one that I am grateful for. I see the world around me through grace colored glasses. What does that mean? I like to think of it as my super power. The super power of a 40ish year old mom wearing dollar store readers, a cape and 6 inch Louboutins  flip flops (who am I kidding?). So, here’s how it works:

~If I’m working with children and observe “bad behavior”, I don’t automatically assume that they are bad kids or have bad parents. Through my grace colored glasses I see things like pain, rejection, insecurity, learning disabilities, anxiety and issues at home. Maybe even just a bad day. Isn’t it funny how grown ups are allowed to make mistakes and have crappy days/bad attitudes but children aren’t?

~When I’m out running errands and I see someone dressed in tattered or dirty clothes, I don’t turn up my nose. Through the lens of my special glasses, I might see struggle, poverty, lack of educational opportunities, brokenness, low self esteem or heartache.

~When I’m working in the hospital and encounter frazzled and frantic patients (or their loved ones), I don’t pretend not to notice. Through my grace colored glasses I see one or all of these: despair, fear, struggle, addiction, anguish, mistrust and anger.

Sometimes Way too often my grace colored glasses slip from my eyes. Sometimes Way too often I am easily agitated,  irritated at slow drivers in the left lane,  wonder why my students can’t “get it together” and almost come unglued when people chew SO LOUD! I’m human and I’m a work in progress.

I take zero credit for the things that I see through my special lenses. I’m not sharing my observations to come off as ‘holier than thou’ or to condemn anyone who sees things differently. I am grateful for these grace colored glasses. I hope that God, the giver of grace, continues to make my prescription more powerful as the years go by. Besides, what we see isn’t so important. What we DO in reaction to what we see is. I wholeheartedly believe everyone would respond in the same way if they saw things the way I do.

I can’t wait to hear what you see when you put on your grace colored glasses! More importantly, I can’t wait to hear what actions you take when you see more clearly!

Be a blessing today.

Bonus video- all the feels!