When I was a little girl, I ran into things a lot. My mom was always telling me to watch where I was going and my response was always “I didn’t see it.” Turns out my vision was poor, my depth perception was off, and I had to start wearing glasses when I was four. I was always small for my age and unfortunately as I got older the trend for glasses was the bigger the better. I became known as “the girl with big glasses” and was teased a lot. I couldn’t wait until I could get contacts. I was so tired of the “four eyes” comments. Back then, the doctors made you wait until you were 15 (apparently that is when your eyes stop growing – or that’s what they thought back then). As soon as I turned 15, I was in the eye doctors office getting my contacts. They were really expensive back then and they were a lot of work. There was the nightly cleaning, the little machine that you would put them in to “cook” them overnight, the weekly protein deposit cleaning. It was a big commitment, but I hated my glasses so much it was well worth the work. Because they were so expensive and I really didn’t want to wear glasses, I was ultra paranoid about losing them. And those buggers would sometimes just pop right out of my eye…at the most inopportune times. Like the time I had to stop traffic in the middle of a busy road and get down on my hands and knees to look for a rogue contact and the time they had to stop the music and turn on the lights at a homecoming dance to look for one. Very embarrassing. I was so self conscious about my glasses, that once I got contacts, I wouldn’t even go get the mail with them on. I would have given anything to have perfect vision like my friends.
Here’s a picture of me with my glasses…(now I’m really putting myself out there)
Today I know people who wear glasses as a fashion statement. They don’t even need glasses. Contacts have come a long way too…they aren’t as much work and now they have colored contacts so you can completely change the color of your eyes. Now in the grand scheme of things, having to wear glasses is not the end of the world. But as a teenage girl, who felt like boys didn’t like girls in glasses, it was a big deal. I was fortunate that there was something I could do to change how I felt about myself. Unfortunately, there are some things that can’t be changed about ourselves, and are harder to hide. It’s even harder when people think you are making a choice. Think about this:
So imagine being an adolescent and realizing that you are attracted to the same sex. Imagine desperately wanting to change that, but you can’t. Society tells you that you can, but you’ve tried with no success, and hiding it gets more and more difficult. Now I realize that there are some people who go through this that are totally accepting of themselves right away. I thank God for that and it gets me teary eyed just thinking about it. My son’s experience was one of self hatred and depression. It’s taken six years for him to climb out of the pit he put himself into. It breaks my heart that anyone goes through that. It’s sad to me to think that people feel like they need to hide who they are to be accepted (makes wearing ugly glasses seem so trivial now). It causes a lot of pain. My son knows kids who have been kicked out of their homes because they are gay. He knows others whose parents pay them to act straight. And these parents are Christians. Being gay is not easy. Obviously not everyone has bad experiences, but there are a lot of people who do. And the thought that they choose to be gay is like me saying I choose to have bad vision.
I still wear contacts, but I also happily wear my glasses too. And I’m happy to say that my son accepts who he is now. I just hope that his experiences have not closed the door to God forever. As Christians, we may be the only glimpse of Christ that people experience. Shouldn’t that be a good experience??
You know how people in dangerous situations say, “my life flashed before my eyes”…I believe when Jesus was on the cross our lives flashed before his eyes. And he said, “yes Father…I give my life for them ALL.”
Love each other…because love matters.