Yesterday it was barely noticeable. I thought maybe a stray eyelash or hair was in the corner of my eye. At other times my eye just felt extremely dry and like there was sand in it. This morning when I woke up the pain was still there and I knew…I had a stye.
I went to images to bring you a picture, but I changed my mind. If you want to see one you can go look. The only kind I have ever had is the tiny white dot. Some of the ones shown were huge and I couldn’t imagine the pain. The little bitty ones like I get are bad enough.
Before I was nine years old, I had four corrective muscle surgeries on my eyes. I don’t like things in or around my eyes. I’m extremely sensitive.
I sat down and tried to write today’s devotion. I knew I had to quit complaining about the relatively minor pain. I went to work on my attitude and perspective. The first thought I had was, “At least it’s not a log.” (Remember my booger post from a few days ago? God can even use a stye.)
3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. (Matthew 7:3-5, NIV)
Early in my faith journey I read a book about the Sermon on the Mount (How to Be A Christian Without Being Religious by Fritz Ridenour). The author discusses this whole plank verses speck issue. And I learned the phrase “Plank Eyed Saints.” I didn’t hear it again until I was listening to Casting Crowns song “Jesus, Friend of Sinners.” (I’ve attached the song at the end of this post.)
I don’t know how the conversations have been around you, but I find it difficult some days not to be drawn into “plank-based” conversations. Perhaps you’ve heard them too. They’re negative and judgmental. Folks spout facts and figures, and make pronouncements on all sorts of topics…about all kinds of people. Their opinions know no boundaries.
And grace is nowhere to be found.
Would it be amazing, if instead of grousing and complaining, we would just admit we’re confused and maybe even afraid. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if instead of a posture of false bravado we assumed a posture of prayer? If instead of judging we took them to the One who has all the answers and the true means to solve the problems.
Wouldn’t it be.
PRAYER: God, it’s Monday and typically there are more planks on this day than any other. Forgive us for thinking we could possibly take the speck out of anyone else’s eye, and help us to determine to deal with our own issues, fears, and needs before we go looking at those of others. Help us to see and feel and dive fully into your love today. Amen.