Monday, March 15, 2010

Fixing my Glasses

I walked down to Beartooth Vision today over lunch because my glasses had been giving me headaches. I think they fixed them ("someone" had accidentally stepped on them and bend the frames), although the semi-permanent headache that I have when I don't wear my contacts is still lingering.

As long as I was going, I took HH's glasses, which seem to have a defect in the scratch-free coating, since a little corner of the lens is peeling. He's already had them replace the frames, since the coloring on the arms was flaking off, and they were expensive enough that it's not supposed to do that.

They're great there -- super friendly, helpful, and HH even met a fellow Audi-afficionado friend through them!

And then at the end of the day, I was editing some photos of my time in the Philippines last November, planning to put some on a website promoting our D.Min. program.

One of our youngest -- and most gifted-- D.Min. students was wearing glasses in his picture, and one of the lenses was cracked all the way through.

I sat there and stared at his glasses and for some reason, in that moment, it broke my heart a little bit. Could you imagine trying to function with your vision so thoroughly obscured? It's not just the situation, though; those broken glasses represent a life full of hardship. Barely surviving the Rwandan genocide that claimed the lives of 14 family members. Living now in a country that won't claim him; he is nationally a nobody, and going through routine passport control at an airport or a border can be a half-day ordeal for him because he cannot get identity papers (and hence, no passport). He nearly died several weeks ago from cerebral malaria. He teaches in a seminary, where his salary probably barely pays the bills. For the reason of the time and place in which he was born, God has marked out for him a life in which the weight of living in a fallen world presses heavily upon him.

And yet he is a remarkable man of God, with a vision for peace and healing to people whose life narratives are defined by conflict and violence. I have no doubt that he will be used greatly of God over the course of his life -- indeed, he already has story after story of ministering peace through the Gospel to people in need.

His glasses may be broken, but his vision is strong and clear. He may be a broken jar -- in a continent full of broken jars -- but he is full of the all-surpassing power of God. Oh Lord, encourage him even now, and help him to fix his eyes on what his broken glasses cannot obscure, your eternal grace and glory.

But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body...

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

2 Corinthians 4:7-10, 16-18

1 comment:

Rich Mattson said...

Could we get him some glasses?