I need to have a basal cell carcinoma surgically removed from my eyebrow today. No big deal--basal cell is a surface cancer, 100% curable simply by removing that outer layer of skin. I'm going to have a Mohs micrographic surgery, which means they'll remove some tissue, freeze it and look at it under the scope. If there's still some cancer cells, they'll remove more issue. On and on until the region is clear of the basal cells. It's a procedure I'm grateful for, because it's designed to remove the cancer but also to limit disfiguration.
The only problem? I likely will have to be at the surgeon's office for about 4 hours, most of the time spent waiting.
I cannot sit still at the best of times.
And I certainly cannot sit still in front of daytime television, which the receptionist cheerfully tells me will be available in the comfortable patient waiting room.
Two things can entertain me enough to sit still. One is reading, the other is writing. I plan to bring my computer and get some writing done but there's a little complication.
I wear contact lenses. And because I need them for distance and reading, I have different lenses in each eye. My left eye has the lens for reading, my right for distance (though I usually don't bother to wear that one.) If you've never experienced this, it sounds bizarre but your brain accomodates both lenses, automatically focusing with the correct eye for the correct distance.
Because the patch of cancer is on my left eyebrow, I won't be able to wear my reading lens. And Iwon't be able to wear my glasses because they cover the spot with a bulky bandage between removal and inspection. I've been told my eye will probably swell shut.
Reading and writing are like breathing to me. I can't just sit there for four hours and vegetate. I HAVE to be able to read. So I put my reading lens--always worn in my left eye--into my right eye this morning.
And thus...the war began. My right eye took to the lens right away...I can read quite well with it. But my left eye is not happy, not at all. It wants to do the reading because that's been it's job for years and years. With uncorrected vision, it can't help at all. But it keeps trying to, thus screwing up the corrected vision in my right eye. I walked around dizzy for the first 20 minutes, my brain was completely disoriented because it was being directed to read and see close-up from the wrong side. As I write this, my left eye is still trying to help...but it's calming down a little.
This puts me so in mind of the Holy Spirit. When God gives us that spiritual corrective lens, it's a joy and a revelation. But I keep trying to see life through my "old" eye, focusing the way I'm used to focusing, seeing the way I am accustomed to seeing. The war between the redeemed eye and the natural eye can be spiritually disorienting, even to the point of open warfare as the natural eye submits to the corrected--and transformed--eye of the Spirit.
The Christian walk can be a dizzy affair as our vision is corrected. Lent is a great time for getting back into focus, isn't it?