Eyes and Holiness

Holiness and its pursuit is of huge importance to me.

The challenge of holiness and how hard it is to keep my mind on holiness sometimes drives me to distraction.

Since I had my eye surgery Wednesday, I’ve had yet another experience that comes close to capturing the problem that lurks in my mind. I am in a new realm of paranoia, one which I thought I already had. I’ve always been very protective of my eyes. I swore I’d never get contacts, have never enjoyed the thought of anything ever touching my eyes. I’ve had bad dreams about damaging my eyes since childhood. I can’t stand horror flicks involving eyeballs and stuff. all of that causes shivers and dread.

And so I “braved” eye surgery during which all of my greatest eye-related fears came true. I got countless doses of eyedrops and invasive examinations of every part of my eyes. On the day of surgery, the nurse literally drew on my eyeball with a sharpie pen and then I was carted off to lay beneath a giant machine that involved eyelid spreaders and a terrifying suction cup that stuck to my eyeball, immobilized it (bruises afterward), more eyeball art and then the machine touched me. It invaded my fear zone like all those dreams and horror flicks. They didn’t give me sedatives or anything. I’m told the pain would’ve been agonizing had they not given me the numbing drops.

After that, I’ve been afraid to even touch my eyes. Don’t want to dislodge the loose flaps that were once solid films of flesh over my pupils. Don’t want to introduce infection or any new discomfort. It’s weird.

I can see better than 20/20 already, according to the post-op exam yesterday and I’m a textbook perfect success for LASIC surgery. But I’m systematic and methodical about protecting my eyes. It’s scary, sort of, even to get in close to my little girls for big hugs and tickles, just in case somebody’s hair gets in my eye or I get bumped the wrong way. I faithfully keep my medication nearby and track the time so that I don’t miss a dose. I’m nearly an artificial tear addict, impatiently waiting for the hour to pass so I can dump some more of that cool goodness on my scratchy orbs.

Holiness? If only I had that kind of attention and meticulous care for my soul. If only every minute of every hour of every day would be committed to keeping the grime, the stray hairs and deadly bumps from my life. I’m shamed to think I can care for these eyes and yet stumble again and again into sinful thought, deed and word with the turn of my head.

O, Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? — Romans 7:24

Yeah, I’m there with Paul.

And here, too: Somebody really is meticulous and attentive and taking care of my soul while I’m not watching. Hard as I try, the Master is effortlessly doing far better.

Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!

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