As I get older, I need to wear my glasses more and more. In fact, according to the state of Tennesee, I not allowed to drive without them on. Lately I seem to have trouble keeping my glasses clean. First I will put off cleaning them because I have better things to do or am not near my cleaning stuff. Other times I will try to clean them with my shirt but I often make it worse but not taking the time to do it right. My dirty glasses distort how I see things. I don’t have a clear picture of the world around me. Hopefully I don’t miss something important.
Life can sometimes be like my dirty glasses. We have trouble really seeing the people around us because we are looking through dirty glasses. For example, I had a student last year who was struggling with her grade. She wasn’t turning her homework in and had trouble paying attention in class. I assumed she just didn’t care. From my perspective, she was making my job harder. At parent teacher conferences, I learned that her mom had been and was still unwell. I couldn’t believe how insensitive I had been. I had not taken the time to talk to her and find out what was going on. How hard would it have been to talk with her? By the grace of God, I was able to help her through the rest of the semester and see that she really was trying. When I look at the world around me, I see it through eyes that struggle with pride, selfishness and past hurts. Instead of going straight to my Maker who can give me clear vision, I often am content to look at the world through my blurry vision. I don’t look at things deeper or find out where the other person is coming from. I don’t want to be like that. Grace happens when we look at things through God’s point of view instead of ours. As I start to think about the new school year, I want to be a teacher who has clear vision. With my family and friends, I want to have clear vision. Only with God is it possible.
Dear God, Thank you that you see as we truly are and love us still. Forgive me for being judgmental and not seeing others as you see them. Give me grace and compassion for those I meet each day. Help me be the kind of teacher who goes deeper when things aren’t going well. May you work in and through me. Amen