Confession time: I do my best work in my pajamas.
Before you wonder what I do, let me explain. As soon as I rise, I am one of those annoying people who are ready to go for the day. I dive in and do whatever tasks are needed. For me, it is if I am getting a jump start on the day. I can quickly get those tasks over with and then be ready to move on to something less arduous for the remainder of my day. I am still in my pajamas, without breakfast, brushing teeth, no contacts in, no morning ablutions. Just out of bed and ready to go. .
So, the other day, per my usual morning ritual, I was outside in my pajamas painting some molding that was needed for completing our screened porch project. Without my contacts in I cannot see too much in the distance. I saw the form of our neighbor on his deck but didn’t worry that he might see me in my night clothes. I realized that without my contacts in, I figured if I cannot see him, he could not see me. Like children when playing hide and seek. Little kids have the tendency that if they shield their eyes, no one else will see them.
Got me thinking…
Do I respond to things only when I see it? Do I have to see to know that someone or something is there? Do I act as if things aren’t there just because I cannot see or witness it?
I think about injustice and treatment of others. I am especially bothered by the racial profiling of non-whites, especially African Americans in our town. I have a friend who has had to have “the talk” with his son. Not THE talk about sex and responsibility but the talk about staying alive and safe when the son will get stopped from law enforcement. Not because the son is doing anything wrong But because he might be walking down the street minding his own business.
It made me so sad that a parent would have to have that conversation and that it is not an if it happens but a when it happens scenario. That was one discussion that we did not have to have with our sons. Sure, I worried when they were teenagers and would go out at night with their friends. I worried that they would be safe while driving or that they would make wise choices about the activities they did with their friends. But I never worried that they would be stopped and frisked by police for no apparent reason. They were always taught that the police were the ones that would help you in times of trouble, not be the ones who would cause trouble for you.
I think of other injustices that I do not see but still occur: slave trafficking, child abuse and neglect, elder abuse and neglect., addictions, prostitution, the list can go on and on… Just the general meanness of one to another.
Am I like the emperor of the Emperor’s New Clothes? Like the emperor I think everything is honky dory but others would point out, “Not so.. There is a problem. Things are not what you think they are..” Am I more than physically blinded, but culturally and spiritually blinded to reality?
What does it take to see well? To see not only those things close to us but those surrounding us?
For me, I need to use corrective lenses. Just because I can only see the first two lines in the eye chart doesn’t mean that the other smaller lines aren’t there. For me to be fully functional, I need physical help in the form of contact lenses or glasses. In situations that occur around me that I am unaware, I need help by gathering more information. By listening, reading, or keeping my eyes, ears and mind open.
I think of the hymn: Open my eyes Lord. Help me to see. Help me to hear. Help me to love.
What about you? Do you go through life with blinders on? Are some things blurry in your life? What do you see or don’t see? Do you see close up? Distance? Or not well at all? How can you get correction?
The thing is, when I work in my pajamas whether I see them or not, others will see me. Just because I can see clearly things closest too me, doesn’t make the distance go away. I am the ignorant one who thinks that isn’t so.