The Miracle of Vision

We spent our holiday at the eye doctors office…

Blurry Vision 1As I was sitting in the waiting room, I was feeling blessed that the doctor was open on an officially recognized holiday! And that I had called weeks ago asking for an early appointment in January.

My vision is important to me. Currently my requirements are for reading spectacles only, but each eye is slightly different (proven by the chart test today), so I need specially crafted lenses to adjust for each eye.

When broken, lost or misplaced, it is simple to buy some throw-down’s at any of the local stores. 250’s for typical reading, 150’s when working on my computer monitor. And nothing for seeing what’s far ahead of me!

I’ve posted about senses in the past. I’ve even stated how important vision is to me over the other senses – taste, touch, smell and hearing. Each is an important miracle, and other than touch, each finds it sensory placement in, and around our head. Ear and eyes balance sound and sight so we can determine direction and distance. Smell is right before our mouth where we taste, so hand in glove, each sense works together .

Touch is the weird one. You cannot say it’s only in your fingers, because your entire body is a touch sensor. You feel the pressure of the wind on your neck, or someone tapping you on the shoulder, or that large pointed rock you just stepped on.

Since each is important, they are sensory connected to our brain. Through the magic of nerves, our brain interprets the input from each organ. The idea that what we see, taste, smell and hear can be translated into good and bad responses is simply amazing, and the memories from a lifetime stay with us and sway our reactions to the results years later.

Take away one of these senses then the others attempt to compensate for their loss. But touch can be taken away from portions of our body due to injury or some other binding occurrence, and touch does not compensate for the loss by expanding it’s range from one part of the body to the dead zone.

Let me sum up my view about sight from other postings and some new thoughts….

What a miracle it is to have the ability to see. I thank God for our 5 senses – Life would truly be different with out them. My favorite is Sight – I would rather keep my sight and let go of tasting, smelling, hearing, touching…My ability to see is something I do not want to take for granted.

Why is sight more important?

  • I have been a reader all my life (that I can remember) and with sight I can go on researching the wonders of the world through the written word!
  • I am a watcher of all my surroundings; I can hardly wait for the next turn in the road and the surprises it will bring – in fact, I hate to sleep when we are on a driving trip and I’m simply a passenger – I might miss something!
  • I enjoy watching people – how they act and react. And who doesn’t enjoy watching children as they begin to experience the world around them!
  • I enjoy exploring the world around me, and with technology I am able to see farther and more clearly than ever imagined.

Thank God for the ability to see…I would have to change how I enjoy life if I lost my sight.

Each of us is blessed with a dominant eye…the eye that looks most directly at an object. The non-dominant eye is the eye that looks at the same object at a slight angle… This small difference helps to provide depth perception…This is important in order to focus from distant objects to near objects…In medical terminology, this is called Ocular dominance, and this describes the tendency to “…prefer visual input from one eye to the other.” One may think it’s as unique as being right handed or left handed, but there is no correlation to being dominant with one hand and the same side eye. Approximately two-thirds of the population is right-eye dominant.

Senses - Dominant EyeDetermining the dominant eye is actually very simple. Simply look at an object about 15-20 feet or so from you, raise your hands in front of your face with your palms facing away from you. Create an opening between the two hands by crossing your thumbs and fore-fingers. Look at the object with both eyes open, and then close one eye and note what you can see, then close the other eye and note the differences.

I first learned about this when taking archery lessons. Though right handed, I struggled with hitting the target, much less the bulls eye. My arrows were always going awry. When the instructor tested for eye dominance, we learned that my left eye was seeing more straightly than my right eye. To use this to my advantage I changed from shooting right handed, to left handed.

Knowing which eye is dominant helps us in many facets of life. The way we angle our bodies toward something that is seen clearer by one eye over the other, or the way we always seem to comprehend easier when something is on the side of our bodies which has the dominant eye..

Now I said all that to say this…our eyes and the sense of seeing are very important to us… The miracle of sight is an amazing feat. Our eyes send signals to our brain, and our brain makes a decision or judgment based upon what we saw…

Although a picture is worth a thousand words, there was the story about the beauty of a face that launched a thousand ships. Without that vision, those ships would not have been launched!

We oft remember what we see more than what we hear. An adage of old: “Teach me I forget, Show me I’ll remember, Involve me and I’ll comprehend.” Give me hands on training any time. I learn by doing, and that generally requires me seeing what I’m doing!

Scripture seems to be more focused on the sense of sight more than the sense of hearing. Equal in number, God has given us two eyes and two ears. Yet the translation of images through the ocular nerve into something retained in our brain for later recall is an amazing process.

“My eyes make pictures when they are shut.” ~Samuel T Coleridge

The concept of seeing something in our mind is missing when someone is blind. What is probably worse is not have never “seen” and only “felt” a limited portion of the world around us. Sitting in the doctors office I heard the usual noises that I’ve heard before, and, yes, to have no hearing would be hard, but to a woman who never had sight, Helen Keller (Deaf and Blind) said, “Of all the senses, sight must be the most delightful.”

A friend shared about a child who had a cochlear implant installed that would give her the ability to hear sound for the first time. Through understanding, the doctors slowly introduced sound to her and identified it for her – she had never heard it before! Imagine all the sounds we take for granted every day and our brain filters them out as background noise, non-threatening sounds, and, oh yeah, the microwave demands our attention… 

The Gospel of John describes a man who was born blind. Like Helen Keller he never had the opportunity to see. When brought before Jesus as a challenge, Jesus simply anointed his eyes with clay and spittle and instructed the man to go and wash his eyes. Upon doing so, the man miraculously gained his sight. The religious authorities were quick to seize on this, looking for a reason to accuse Jesus. When they queried the once blind man, part of his statement has stayed with me for the past little while,

He answered and said, Whether he be a sinner or no, I know not: one thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see. (John 9:25, KJV)

This man was not only going to be thankful for that which he could see right now, today… But imagine how he will be thanking God later on in life when he can experience wonders that were once closed to him. What must it be like to come from a place of total blindness, and now be able to see everything, all the time.

Take this concept of seeing and use it for the “long view.” We can be made happy by things which bring instant gratification. I heard a man make a statement about why we love digital cameras so much, we can instantly see the results – no waiting for the film to be completely used, no waiting for the processing of the film, – show it to me right now. When my son was getting married, the photographer would look at the view finder and determine if she needed to take another picture before moving on to the next shot.

I believe Vision needs to be something that gives us not only short term benefits, but a gaze of where we are headed on the path we are walking so as to determine the end result. And we should choose the location from where we get the wisdom to travel! David said,

Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path. (Psalms 119:105 NKJV)

I need to see and hear and comprehend his Word so that my immediate path is lit, and the future direction is enlightened. His Word gives me Vision.

The children of Israel were willing to give up their eyesight in their right eye in order to have a king (1 Sam 11:1-11). How could you voluntarily give up your depth perception just to have a king. Not even a Godly king, but one whose name means “snake”. He was not a Godly man, he was a man of the world. They were willing to follow anybody just to have a king in their life. Perhaps the problem was not only in their desire, but they had already lost the Vision of what God had intended them to have – a chosen people, a royal priesthood, and a holy nation!

This world wants us to give up our eyes, our vision, just so we can all get along. They want to enforce their own set of rules and values upon us and have us accept their way of looking at things, but they do not want to accept our way of viewing the world!

Don’t give up your spiritual vision just to fit in with someone else that doesn’t believe what I believe

Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. (2 Corinthians 6:14-18)

Scripture is full of those who gave up their Spiritual Vision to fellowship with Darkness.

  • In order to eat lunch with a snake, Eve partook of the fruit that was designed to not be taken. And she lost her home and was expelled from the garden…she was kicked out of a perfect environment…she lost her purity…her innocence…
  • Samson was willing to loose his eyes over a beautiful lady…. Here was a Judge of Israel, a man of strength who could rip apart a lion with his hands, destroy thousands in battle – but he had no depth perception and could not keep his eyes in focus! In the end…he lost his ability to see…and we find him a servant to the enemies of God…grinding corn in a dungeon with both of his eyes plucked out.
  • David lost his vision several times by the lust and pride within his own life and walked off down roads that led to darkness.
  • Peter loses his Vision of the Messiah and flees into the darkness after cursing those who thought he was a follower of Christ.
  • Paul describes this world blinded by the god of this world in 2 Corinthians 4:3-4, where the Gospel of the Good News is hid.

Do not be a slave to a vision that is not Godly! Matthew 18:9 “And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire.”

If you find yourself off the pathway of God, do whatever it takes to get back on the strait and narrow. Mark Twain said, “You cannot depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.” Keep your focus in tune with the direction of God! That is sometimes the hardest thing to do!

Helen Keller was asked, “what would be worst than being born blind, she said being born without a vision”. You can see with your mind, but often the resulting image comes from things you’ve ingested. Live without a conquering Vision then you will make up a potentially vacant view of the world. Live with a God Given Vision and you are more easily kept to that narrow path that leads to life eternal…

Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he. (Proverbs 29:18)