Saturday, July 1, 2023

 The Speck


“Ryan! Supper is ready!” My wife called to me over the high pitched whine of the grinding wheel throwing sparks across the metal surface of the steel tube of which I was cutting through.


“Supper!...It!... Is!...Ready!”

“Oh! Ok, I just want to finish this cut!”

“Shouldn’t you be wearing safety glasses while grinding metal?”

“I am!”

“No you are not! What you are wearing is your prescription eyeglasses.”

“So! They work the same!”

“They would if they were not perched on the end of your nose like an old crooked-nosed college professor.  Why don’t you go get bifocals like the rest of the people your age?”

“I don’t need bifocals…I just can’t see what I am doing with my glasses on.”

“Exactly! Your glasses are not doing you any good that way.”

“I’ll be fine! I’ll be in as soon as I am done.”

I finished my cut with the sparks and metal fillings rebounding off of my face, neck and hands.  When I looked up from my work I could feel my eyes grinding behind my eyelids and I rubbed them trying to free the tiny fragments.

 “Ugh,” I grunted to the empty garage.

I entered the house, ate supper, and went about the rest of the evening, rubbing my right eye and feeling the increasing agitation grow.  Finally, at 10:00 p.m. that night, I could stand it no longer.

“Ugh! I have something in my eye! I need to go and try and wash it out!” I barked and jumped to my feet, leaving the rest my family in the room and entering the bathroom blindly. 

After 10 minutes of eyewashes, eye drops, and a shower, I found the irritation was still present.  I looked into the mirror.  There it was…I could see it…a little tiny speck of metal sitting on the cornea just inside the iris area of my right eye. 

I used a wet wash rag and wiped my eye trying to shift it to the side. I slid the rag left and right and up and down but it would not move.  Finally, I went into my garage and found the strongest magnet that I owned and began to press it as close to my eye as possible hoping beyond hope that the tool would extract the little metal speck.  Despite the brilliance of my idea with the magnet…it did not work.

Frustrated and deflated, I gave up my efforts and tried to go to sleep hoping that my eye would generate some miracle gunk that could…would…self extract the speck from my eye during the night.

When I woke in the morning…by morning I mean 12:15 a.m., I found that the speck was still there.  It was still there at 1:30, 2:20, 3:42 and 5:25 a.m. The hot, metal fragment had apparently embedded itself into my cornea and was not going to relinquish its hold no matter what I did. 

I needed help.

Finally, I went to the doctor.  The doctor took a long Q-tip and said, “Look right here,” then proceeded to jab me in the eye.

“Ouch!” I exclaimed.

“Try and hold still,” as jab number two commenced.  “There. I got it,” he exclaimed.

“Thanks…I think…”

There is a metaphor that Jesus uses in the Bible.  He says that before we tend to the “speck” in our brother’s eye, we are to first remove the “board” in our own eye.  This is a good teaching from Jesus and it points to the dealing with sin in our lives.  Certainly, Jesus is challenging us to deal with our own sinful nature before engaging the sinful nature of others.  He is clear that we are not to judge others and their sin without first calling sin for what it is in our own lives.  What I think that we often miss…what I miss…is that in both cases…the “board” AND the “speck,” are NEEDING to be dealt with.

I will be the first to say that the speck in my eye needed to come out and I needed help to do it.  I fear that too often we justify both our boards and our specks and choose to live with them as opposed to allowing the Holy Spirit to deal with them.

I think that this is, perhaps, what Paul is driving at when he says to “not quench the Spirit and to not discredit prophecy,” in 1 Thessalonians 5:19-22.  When we justify our sins…we are quenching the Spirit and the conviction that He brings.  When we treat prophecy with contempt we shun the Word of God and those who are preaching the Word of God, especially if the Word is calling us to turn from our sinful behaviors.

May we come to invite the Holy Spirit to convict us of sin and follow the Word of God as we learn to truly follow the Spirit of Truth.

No comments:

Post a Comment