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  • Debra McInvale

Cataract Vision or Son Glasses

[Today’s post is #6 in a series on “heritage”. In each, I am sharing family stories that have had a lasting impact on me.]

Oil on porcelain, Debra McInvale.

See yourself through the clarity of God’s eyes –

not through the blurriness of others’.

It’s funny how we take our body parts for granted until they start breaking down. Be honest, how often do you think about your vision?

I have been contemplating vision a good bit lately. Blurry vision. For a voracious reader like me, it is extremely frustrating when all written words swim in front of my nose. It makes painting difficult too. After three cataract surgeries (the first eye had “technical issues”) plus a year of drops, my vision is back to almost normal.

Of all the things we might inherit from our parents, what do we not want to get? I’m thinking – poor eyesight, crappy teeth, scratchy lungs … Nope. You can keep all your health issues; don’t leave them for me. (I inherited them anyway.)

But back to vision. How much of your “personal” vision did you inherit? And how does that vision impact the way you see and value yourself?

Daddy’s parents divorced when he was a young kid – late 1930s maybe? He struggled mightily after that. He felt rejected. Didn’t his dad want him? And his grandparents were downright ugly to him and his mother, LaRose. That strongly impacted the way he saw himself. His worth was shot. Until a family friend cared enough to send him to a boy’s summer camp and the people there made the effort to say, “you are valuable”. Then his life was turned completely around.

We too often see ourselves the way other people see us


the way we imagine they see us.

I have no clue why, but I used to see myself through a lens of self-doubt. Extremely self-conscious, I was afraid to speak up for fear I would sound stupid or silly. Wasn’t I? It was difficult making close friends, especially boy friends, when I couldn’t bear to uncover the real me. In later years, as I gained too much weight, I was embarrassed. Surely, I must be an embarrassment to my family too? I was viewing myself the way I imagined others were seeing me.

A neighbor confessed she could not sew because a sewing teacher had told her so. Another was told by a teacher that he might as well join the army because he would never amount to anything otherwise. And one friend was told by his father not to be a teacher because teachers are people who aren’t capable of doing anything else.

By whose standards are we identifying ourselves? The parent who shamed? The husband who walked? The neighbor with a nicer home? The friend with a bigger salary?

Daddy was not rejected but loved. I was not stupid. My friend could have learned to sew if she wanted to. One guy became highly successful and the other became an amazing teacher who made a positive difference in the lives of his students.

So, who do we believe? How can we see ourselves with accurate and clear vision, no matter the image we are “gifted” or imagine?

We can reject our legacies when they impair and cripple us. One friend inherited a legacy of abuse; she rejected it and overcame the pain. One inherited a legacy of alcoholism but turned his back on it firmly and completely.

We can embrace our legacies when they nurture and empower us. And, most importantly, we are lovingly and grace-fully invited to identify ourselves as the Creator of all things identifies us.

Oil on canvas by LaRose McGuire Hibble.

So shed that blurry vision right this minute! Put those Son Glasses on your face! Look to Him who promises:

· You are precious, priceless and chosen!

Ephesians 1:5; Galatians 4:6-7; John 1:12

· You are loved and valued unconditionally.

Ephesians 1:4; John 3:16; Ephesians 2:10; Psalm 58:8

· You have meaning and purpose.

Romans 8:28; John 15:5

· You are capable of accomplishing good things.

2 Corinthians 9:10-11; Philippians 4:13

[To see more ways we are valuable to Christ, be sure to download the free resource “20 Precious Gifts."]

Hugs and blessings,


Lord, teach me always to see myself and my value through the lens of Your love and Your Word. Help me to keep these Son Glasses on my nose and walk Your path of purpose. Amen.



What have you inherited that is most valuable to you?

What legacy are you building now by the way you are living your days?

Who are you mentoring by default?


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