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New Lenses

My mother tells a story about the leaves that suddenly appeared when she finally got her glasses. She was in her early 20′s and didn’t realize that she couldn’t see. The decline had happened so gradually that she became very accustomed to green blobs on trees. Who knew those things were intricate, delicate leaves?

I had spent most of my life believing that if people lived right, served God and just showed love to one another, then their life would be (on average) good. I believed, in my whole heart, that every person in the world was on that same mission. We wanted to be loved, so we would love. We wanted to make the world good, so we would be good. I promise, people do not work that way.

It is rather ironic that my childhood had been one heaping of dog poop after another into my life and I walked around as an adult with the rosiest-colored glasses available. I knew, with a pure heart, that when people did something wrong or hurtful, that they were suddenly aware of it and were repentant. I lived in a hope that everyone was trying to do right and that we all just somehow stumbled into wrongness.

After Jackson died, I took those ridiculous rose-colored glasses off and threw an enormous stomping fit on top of them. Guess what? Those weren’t people trying to do their best. Those were people living in self-preservation. They were fearful and they were dedicating their life about whatever made them happy or seemed right to them.

I am not saying that we aren’t all a bit like that. We are human. We hurt people. We are broken.

But the people I saw after the lenses came off were not the problem. They had never pretended to do or be anything else. They were living for themselves and had always been doing that.

The problem was me. I thought they lived under the same weights as I did. I weighed the odds of my decisions. I calculated consequences and outcomes. I noted who would be hurt by my behaviors and words. I believed that I would reap what I had sewn.

I gave my siblings an extra pair of lenses. I wiped the slate clean each time they acted poorly. I did not know that they were never sorry. They were only sorry that they had gotten caught.

When the glasses came off, I saw everything and I hated. I didn't go a day where I didn't wish that my sister would just die. I didn't go a day where I didn't just hurt for my baby. I didn't go a day where I didn't consider punching someone in the mouth for simply being joyful or smiling. I hated!

The one person I refused to speak to, though, was God. I knew He could have done something and He didn't. He had set me up to love this baby and made me think that this was His plan for me, only to just let her do what made her happy anyway. Oh, I could have punched God in the mouth! (If you gasped, it's okay. I gasp writing it down, but its absence would just be a lie and no one benefits from that.)

I already was trying to massage my throat to swallow that bitter pill when my sister turned up pregnant again. I was standing in the checkout line at the local grocery store when the cashier said, "I couldn't believe how cute your sister looked last week. I bet you are excited to have another niece or nephew." That was the longest 2 minutes of my life up to that point.

I coached from within...Hold your breath so you don't speak. Also breathe because your heart is pounding so hard you will pass out. I don't KNOW where the darn pen is. Just write the check. What do you mean you don't know how to sign your name? Who gives a @@@@@@@@@@@@@@ what day it is? OH MY WORD! SOMEONE JUST TELEPORT ME TO MY HOUSE!!!!!

A Christian friend of mine used to tell that we always pray for justice of other people's misdeed; we pray for mercy for our misdeed. Although I had not talked to go for the past year, I was definitely thinking some very strong accusations all the way home. I requested some stiff justice like death or that she would lose this baby or that it would be born with 2 heads. ('s ugly in here!)

I did want justice. I wanted God to smote her down. I wanted to SEE that He was actually doing something or I wasn't going to talk to Him at all.

I know how juvenile my thoughts were. I know how egotistical they sound. I was fully aware that in the grand scheme of the universe and time, God was not that worried that He would be lonesome without me. But I just determined to make God be just or I would instill justice myself.

PLAN OF JUSTICE: I would hate her. I would never hold that stupid baby. I would never let her come to my house for Christmas. I would disown her and every time I would see her I planned to just wish evil things upon her. I would never give her a kidney, even if she was dying and become the new Mother Theresa. No way! She deserved to pay for what she had done.

I lost two years of my life living in that quagmire of anger and hate. My soul longed to have peace and joy and hope again. Somewhere in the background of my mind, I remembered that I had two living sons and a husband. But each day, I was dedicated to holding her accountable.

I hate the concept of forgiveness. We all talk about it when we need the forgiveness of others. We all appreciate forgiveness when we honestly can wrap part of our understanding around Jesus standing in the gap of us so God could forgive us. Giving the forgiveness is quite another thing.

Holding onto unforgiveness is like drinking poison and hoping someone else will die. I drank a lot of poison in those years. I also hoped my sister would die. At the end of those three years of mourning and hating and wishing nastiness, I was 252 lb and insulin resistant. My sons did not really know me anymore. My husband walked on eggshells around me because I was always on the verge of fits of rage or bouts of depression and tears. I stayed in bed as much as possible and had no extended family because they wouldn't hate her like I needed them to. My sister was holding her new baby with her new husband in their new house and then she got her other kids back too.

Great. Fine. That's how it is going to be!

Sometimes when you first get glasses, you get headaches and have dizzy spells. It takes a bit to get used to them actually letting you see.

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