I had cataract surgery last Wednesday. Despite my relative youthfulness, this was my second cataract surgery (you can read some reflections about my first cataract here). This tendency to prematurely develop clouded vision may have a genetic component, as my younger brother had cataracts removed in both eyes earlier this year.
All is well so far, and I can definitely see more clearly. There’s a yellow tinge that our natural lenses develop over the years (just like what happens to clear plastic after years in the sun, especially here in the desert Southwest), and I’m quite aware of a bright, bluer tint to my vision at the moment—though I know I will grow accustomed to it very soon.
This time around, I’m thinking less about what the cataract might mean and more about the gifts of its removal. Cloudy vision can cause us to focus on ourselves and what we’re struggling to see. In the weeks leading up to the surgery, I found it more difficult to remember to look at life more broadly and consider the issues others were facing (that wide-angle view I mentioned a couple weeks ago) when I was struggling to see.
So now, both physically and spiritually, I’m intentionally seeking to reclaim full vision. I want to watch what’s happening with others, not just those who stand within my limited field of view. I want to hold them—and all God’s bright, beautiful world—in prayer. I especially want to hold in prayer those whose vision is clouded by spiritual cataracts of their own making.
Also, in this third year of our antiracism discussion group at St. Philip’s, we are focusing closer to home, here in Southern Arizona. In addition to reading a firsthand account of a migrant from Mexico, we are inviting speakers to talk with us about their ministry on the Arizona/Mexico border. I wonder how many impoverished migrants have cataracts that they cannot imagine getting removed, while I’m feeling grateful for access to health insurance and skilled surgeons. There’s so much I take for granted and therefore fail to see.
What might you take for granted and therefore fail to see? How might your physical and spiritual vision be expanded?