Monday, February 9, 2015

Wrong Focus

Last week I had two opposite experiences in the same place doing the same thing.

It was time for my routine eye exam.  I have noticed my far vision has not been as clear with my contacts as it had been, so I knew it needed a little adjustment, which was the main reason for my visit.

I had the exam with my doctor and then headed to the contact station.  Since my eyes were dilated, we set up a time for me to come the next day.  That day, the lady helping me was wonderful.  She seemed so enthusiastic in helping me.  We tried one combination of contacts and when I looked at the chart it was clear I needed another, mainly because the letters on the chart weren't clear.  

She didn't seem discouraged though, she seemed, well, effervescent.  "Ok, I know what to give you," she said as she pulled another set of contacts out of her huge cabinet, "These will be the ones."

Again, I couldn't see the chart well but she was not deterred.  "OK, lets try this set," she said with a cheerfulness that was infectious.

We finally got down to a set that I thought might work well.  She gave me a pair to wear for a day, so I could see if they worked well in my own environment.  I walked out of the shop to the car and then looked at my phone.  Unfortunately, I could not read my phone.  Obviously we would need to try again.  It was too late in the afternoon to go back in, so I called and set up a time for the next day.

When I walked up to the Contact station there were no patients waiting to be seen and none at the station.  "Ms. Effervescence" was not there either.  Two women were working that day, but only one took care of me.  From the very beginning I had the distinct impression she felt my presence was an imposition.  I told her why I was there and she pulled up my chart.  She asked me if I had ever worn multifocal contacts before.  I stated that I had and did not like them.

"Well, I can see all the way back to 2011," she replied rather curtly, "and I don't see a record of it."  She didn't ask if I had been fitted with contacts before 2011.  "That's what I'm going to put you in," she decided for both of us.

I put in the contacts she handed me and could tell immediately that something was wrong.

"Isn't my dominant eye supposed to be the far sighted eye and my other eye the near sighted eye?"  I could tell by closing just one eye that just the opposite was what was in my eye.  She affirmed that was the case, and I told her that the far contact was in my right eye, not my left eye.

"You have always had your right eye be your far eye," was her response in a manner which implied that there would be no need of further questions on this matter.   She clicked a little on my record on the computer and added, "As far back as I can see, your right eye is your far eye."  I knew, however, from my first contact exam, and my own experience, that my left eye was my dominant eye.

I looked up at the eye chart to see a blur of letters and numbers.  When I told her this pair of contacts didn't work, she went to the cabinet with an exasperated air.  I put yet another pair of contacts into my eyes.  These were a tiny bit better, at least I could see up close.  When I told her this, and said that close vision was more important to me than far vision, she said she could not let me leave without vision good enough to drive.

I left with a pair of contacts which gave me fair close vision and far vision about as good as my non-corrected eyesight.  I was very disappointed in the way I had been treated, especially after my encounter with Ms. Effervescence.  

I relayed the experience to my husband, and as I did I realized that I had an issue with a wrong focus, but it had nothing to do with my eyes.

I was upset, frustrated and disappointed in my encounter with the woman in the Contact Station because my focus was upon myself, what I thought I needed and what I thought I deserved as a customer.  But the Lord had me there for something entirely different.

The Lord taught His disciples to "Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment," (John 7:24.)  

My initial judgement was of the outward, the appearance.  I considered the lady rude and thoughtless in regard to what I needed and wanted.  But I had not stopped to think beyond the appearance.  I had no idea what was going on in her life right now.  I didn't know what physical pain she dealt with, even as she worked.  I didn't know what hurts and pains filled her heart.  I didn't know what burdens weighed heavily on her shoulders.

I know when my own mother was dying, it was very difficult to go to work where all the patients and their families were so happy in their new little bundles of joy.  I had a very hard time entering into their joy when my own heart was so full of pain.

Perhaps the Lord had me there with that lady so that the love and joy and peace of Christ could flow through me to her and ease her pain.  But that wouldn't happen when my focus was all on me.

Whenever we meet someone who seems to be not as friendly, polite or thoughtful as we think they should be, let us (and I am talking to ME right now) remember that we never know the pain someone else is enduring.  Our kindness, our soft words and tender hearts can be a source of comfort to them as the Lord blesses them in and through us.

Let us keep our focus clearly on our Lord and the people He has placed around us and we will bless Him and bless those He has placed in our paths.

"Grace be to you and peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.  Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort;  Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfot wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.  For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ."
2 Corinthians 1:2-5

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