The doctor placed oversized glasses on his eyes. One lens blue, the other red. The lights dimmed low, she held her flashlight tool inches from his face. “Ok, buddy, how many lights do you see?”
His slumped back straightened, and that dimpled chin I can’t get enough of took a slight turn north, “Three!”
“Great, how about now?” she inched closer to the door.
His shoulders drew back, “Three!”
The doctor repeated at several distances, and each time, his confidence grew. The doctor put her tool away and turned on the lights. The assistant led him outside to the treasure box, as the doctor gently closed the door behind them.
“Put these glasses on. I want to show you something.” She performed the same tests on me as she did my 6-year-old. At each distance I saw four lights rather than the sure three Andrew saw. Taking notice of my confusion, she said, “Now cover your left eye and tell me how many lights you see.”
Despite the questions running relays in my mind, I answered, “Three?” At each distance, with one eye patched, I saw three lights. Slowly exhaling, I removed the glasses and met the compassionate eyes of the doctor.
She explained, “Andrew sees the world through one eye. His right eye became dominate and suppressed the left eye. Andrew has learned to compensate using one eye, so you wouldn’t have known.”
Andrew didn’t know what he wasn’t seeing. He saw what he saw, and it was all he knew. He functioned seemingly fine. Because he saw well enough, he never realized what he was missing.
God is in every microscopic speck of my life, including each parenting moment of my day. The big, the little, the hard, the easy. He’s with me in the triumphant, he’s with me in the failures. I wonder, do I go through my parenting days with one eye suppressed? Am I unaware that I’m only seeing a portion of what he’s doing in my life and in the life of my children, in our family?
A sunset painted outside the lines, colors bleeding into each other, yanks the leash on my frantic rushing. Awed by the Creator’s masterpiece, the endless pressure of the clock dissipates for I see the Master’s work. Yes, I see him in this.
Standing at the mouth of a waterfall renders me speechless, for the Creator’s work is unfathomable. I see his glory in this moment.
In the undeniable moments of God, we stand in awe. What about the in-between moments, the mundane tasks, the monotonous dailies, the seemingly insignificant? Is he not here, too? Am I suppressing my binocular vision for God, putting on my monocular glasses on accident?
Isn’t he in the rushing water cascading over dishes piled too high? Isn’t he in the scratchy-scribbled art project hanging sideways on the fridge? Isn’t he in the opening of my eyes each morning as he’s in the first opening of the newborn’s eyes? Isn’t he in the rhythmic reading of the bedtime story to settle a child into slumber as he’s in the settling of the sun into the night sky?
I want to see it all because when I do, I know I will fall madly in love with him in a way that will impact our family in ways I’ve never conceived. I want binocular vision so I see him in the grand and the not-so-grand moments. I want to see the God moments of parenting, the God moments in the hearts of my children. Often these drop your jaw moments come in the most insignificant ways.
I don’t want to discount the steady rhythm of boring. I think of David as a young shepherd boy, before he was a warrior and king. I think of how boring his days might have been tending sheep, doing the same thing over and over again. Did he wonder if what he did mattered? In the lonely field, a boy grew a heart after God’s own heart.
Parenting exhausts me and tries me like nothing I’ve ever experienced. When I see him in it all, everything changes. Instead of exasperation over a mouth that sassed me one too many times, I see God gently nudging me towards that child. When I deal with a tantrum from a child too old for tantrums and want to throw my hands up, I feel his arms around me, holding me, comforting me, so I can deal lovingly with a child acting in the most unloving ways.
My temptation is to let the constant demands of parenting overwhelm me, which suppresses my ability to see him in my every moment. I’m changing my glasses. I’m choosing to live less overwhelmed by the parenting life and more overwhelmed by his ever presence in my moments.
Overwhelmed by his presence in my every moment, I see the God-sized job in front of me. The one that includes wiping mouths and packing lunches, scrubbing out grass stains and bandaging wounds. The moments that seem so routine can be anything but.
When we are looking for God at each turn, we will discover the awe that steps on the head of overwhelmed. Awe trumps overwhelmed every time.
It’s sometimes in hindsight that we receive our binocular vision.
The doctor explained that therapy would train Andrew to turn both eyes on. It would take practice and patience, but over time his eyes would become aware that only one turned on and would signal the other to turn on as well. One day, Lord willing, both eyes will turn on automatically.
I’m training myself to turn both eyes on to seeing God at work in every moment of motherhood he gifts to me.
Lord, overwhelm my soul by placing awe in my heart for the little ways you are revealed to me daily. Open my eyes in the dailies, the monotony, and the insignificant. Open my eyes to the ways you speak to me through my children. May these moments morph into magnificent simply because you are in them. Let me live in awe of you in the little moments more and more each day.
The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives (Psalm 37:23, NLT).
Renee Robinson, author of Seeking Christmas - Finding the True Meaning Through Family Traditions, is married to her high school sweetheart and the mother of 3 boys. She blogs at www.renee-robinson.com to encourage and inspire both parents and women to live with intentional purpose and abundant joy as they learn to see God in every moment. Join Renee on her blog, Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest. Sign up to receive blog posts via email.