Seeing Past The Air Conditioner
This whole crazy story of lost glasses came back to me because of what happened last week. You see I was on my way to work last week when something about my sight through my glasses didn’t look right. I wiped the lens with a tissue when shockingly I saw what the problem was. After wiping the right lens I started to wipe the left one when I discovered there was no left one! Somehow it had fell out and I hadn’t noticed. When something like that happens panic sets in. I thoroughly checked the car then made a call home. Of course there was not a lens laying around in plain site. When I came home for lunch I checked around for possible places the lens may have fallen. As a last resort my wife offered to check in the couch. We have found things in the couch before. Something from a pocket can fall through the cracks of the couch and end up within the couches lining. I mentioned what a long shot it was as she pulled the couch out after she had secured a flashlight. Surprisingly her light shined right on a strange object that on second inspection was indeed the missing lens! I happily took my glasses to a lady that works in the vision area of the unified clinics at work and she fixed my glasses and tightened the screw that apparently came loose prompting the missing lens.
My memory went back to an episode a few years ago that may have been even more unique. I know it sounds strange but at first I didn’t realize my glasses were missing. You see I hadn’t had them long and for awhile I was just breaking them in. It was only a couple of weeks earlier that I got them because I didn’t pass the eye exam for my drivers license. I wasn’t wearing my new glasses most of the time because of depth perception problems. After searching the house thoroughly with no success I tried to retrace my steps. Suddenly a thought occurred to me although it seemed like a long shot. A couple of days before I was in a store trying on shirts. Perhaps in the dressing room I took the glasses off. I hurried to the store and went straight to the dressing room. Unfortunately my glasses were not there. Walking to the front of the store I noticed a bucket with reading glasses in it. Out of desperation I started going through the glasses. Suddenly I saw a pair that resembled my glasses! Although I doubted seriously it could be them I put them on. Amazingly they fit perfectly and the clear picture I saw told me that these were my glasses! I happily announced to the cashier that I had found my lost glasses! She smiled and said congratulations and I left ecstatic and a little confused at the same time.
I guess the ecstatic part is understandable. My glasses were worth more than $200 as far as the value my insurance and I paid. The confusing part is how was I so lucky? Why didn’t anyone buy my $200 glasses for the amazing bargain of $1.00? I imagine that the following events took place. I probably took my glasses off and put them on the seat in the dressing room before I pulled a shirt over my head. Since I was only wearing the glasses part time, I forgot that I had them on earlier. After I was gone that night or the next day I imagine a store worker entered the dressing room to clean up. I’m sure that it happens all of the time. Someone tries on an article of clothing and instead of bringing it back to the rack they leave it in the dressing room. When the store employee saw my glasses they must have figured they were reading glasses from their box and put them in with the one dollar glasses.
Perhaps someone came in and saw the box. “Oh look Sherry some reading glasses. I’ve been meaning to get some.” Trying one pair on after another to get the right sight and fit maybe he came across my glasses. Putting them on he notices that the lens actually makes things look smaller for him. Quickly he puts them back in the box as definitely not a candidate for what he is looking for. The same thing could have happened a few times as the glasses were there for a couple of days. Unless the person trying the glasses on had the exact vision as me the lenses wouldn’t be right for them. Putting my glasses back in the pile they may have picked up one that fit their reading glasses needs perfectly.
Perhaps you have seen the show “Property Brothers”. It is a reality show where usually a couple is interested in buying a nice home. Every time I have seen the show the couple has demands of what they absolutely need for the house. Usually the added conveniences are very expensive. One of the property brothers actually does the remodeling while the other handles the real estate end of things. The couple is usually taken first to a place with all of the added essentials that they are looking for. The couple is always excited because the house is exactly what they want. Then they are told what the price is which is way more than what they can afford. They are always disappointed and are then taken to other houses where none of their essentials are included. Of course they don’t like the houses and the construction brother explains to them how he can knock this wall out and redesign this room and that. He has a vision for what can be, but they never can see it. They are always looking at the things that they don’t like in the current construction while his vision is on what it will be. Only by picturing the finished product on a computer screen can he convince them to buy the house and work something out within their budget. At the end of the show it is amazing how the finished house is almost completely different from what they bought and how the couple’s are always happy and amazed at the house they now own! They always compliment the builder and his vision and state that they never saw his vision until now.
Bob Weiner was in the Air Force in 1969. He was stationed in Victorville, California but most of his nights and weekends were spent in San Bernadino. Among other things he managed a Christian coffeehouse. This coffeehouse featured blacked out windows, black-light rooms, Christian posters and music. Teenage kids were entertained by music from visiting groups and Bob would get up shaking like a leaf and present the Four Spiritual Laws. Bob was no dynamic speaker and really wasn’t sure of his own commitment to God. However he saw the good coming out of the little coffeehouse and felt useful. Every time they opened the doors teens flocked to the place and many ended up giving their lives to God! It was a Friday afternoon in the fall and one of the hottest days of the year. The temperature outside reached 105 degrees. Bob got to the coffeehouse to prepare for one of the busiest nights of the year. They were expecting four or five hundred kids that night because some of the most popular groups would be there! As Bob entered the coffeehouse he noticed that it was unbearably hot. To his alarm when he pushed the button to turn on the the air coditioning nothing happened. The air conditioning had worked so well in the past that it was almost taken for granted. Yet this night of all nights it was refusing to cooperate. Checking all of the breakers Bob found them all in order. Hurriedly he flipped through the yellow pages to air conditioners and called the first number he saw. Within a half an hour the repairman was there. It didn’t take long before he made his diagnosis. I’m sorry he said but this thing is completely shot. Two of the motors are burned out and possibly a third one. When he started quoting a bill Bob stopped him. Whatever it was it couldn’t be afforded. The coffeehouse was a labor of love that wasn’t bringing in money.
Bob called a second company and the repairman had a similar diagnosis but maybe a little worse. He told Bob that this unit will never work again and was suggesting a whole new unit his company could put in. Of course Bob sent him away too. Bob knew that this was the final death blow. They would have to cancel for the night and possibly have to close down the coffeehouse for good. They were always using the air conditioner even sometimes in the middle of winter. As the second repairman was leaving Tony a local high school student who attended almost all of the events showed up. Tony would often come by early and help out in preparation for the shows. “Hi Bob, Ready for the big show tonight?”, Tony offered enthusiastically! “I’m afraid I have some bad news.” “What’s wrong?” “The air conditioner is shot and it is as hot as an oven in there, no hotter.” “Can you get it fixed?” “I’ve had two repairmen come by and both said the unit is shot. We’ll probably have to shut the place down.” “But you can’t do that”, Tony stated. “What else can we do?” “Cmon”, Bob said as he slapped Tony on the back, “You can call the bands and tell them not to show up.”
“Listen Bob”, Tony started “The Bible says that we can lay hands on the sick and see them recover.” “Yeah, I know that.” “Well I have faith that if we lay hands on this air-conditioning system that it will work.” Bob started to laugh but Tony was not laughing. When Bob was done he realized that Tony was dead serious. “Cmon Tony…you don’t think” “Yes I do” “Won’t you even try?” Bob rolled his eyes up to heaven and said to Tony “OK you win.” Finding himself behind the building where the crippled unit was he said to Tony, “OK Tony I’m doing it, See? ” as he felt stupid putting his hand on the unit. Tony nodded his head and put his hand on the unit too. “In the name of Jesus, I command this air-conditioning unit to work.” That was the extent of his prayer. Then he said “Let’s go turn this thing on and see what happens.” Bob was thinking as he walked over to the switch, “Poor kid, this will probably hurt his faith.” Turning the switch to the on position Bob was the surprised one as the unit roared into action and started pumping cold air! Bob looked at Tony and Tony said “Thank you God!” and they jumped around glorifying God for what he did. Tony had one more thought for Bob, “You see Bob, if God can heal the sick he can certainly repair a machine!”
When the one lens came out of my glasses I didn’t realize at first that there was a problem. It was only when I started to clean them that the problem was revealed. Likewise when my glasses first were missing I didn’t miss them. I wasn’t wearing them often enough to notice that they were gone. Isn’t that the way it is in our spiritual lives sometimes? When we lose our spiritual vision tragically we may not even realize it. Maybe it takes a circumstance in our lives that makes us really see what we don’t have. We hear so much about having faith but what does that really mean? Faith is a vision not what we see with our physical eyes. Jesus said to the doubting Thomas “Because you have seen me you believe; blessed are those who have not seen and yet believed” John 20:29. “While we look not at things that are seen but at the things which are not seen, for the things that are seen are temporal, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” II Corinthians 4:18.
I can see myself thinking the same way that Bob did. Thinking that Tony was naive and that we were talking about an air conditioner, not a person. Bob was limited to the literal interpretation of laying on hands. Yet it was the 17 year old Tony who had the faith of a child that God blessed! You see Bob saw the obstacle and the way things were from his non spiritual view. He saw the giants (the faulty air conditioner) as an impossible foe much like ten of the twelve spies did in the old testament story. Tony on the other hand did not limit what God could do! Tony had the spiritual vision to know that God cares about our needs even if it means healing an air conditioner! Tony saw God and the glory he would receive past the air conditioner! Tony had his spiritual glasses on! The good news for you and I is that it is never too late to get our spiritual sight back. God gave all of us our own unique spiritual glasses that we need to get used to! By putting them on we will be able to see beyond the air conditioner and have a vision of the God of the universe where all things are possible!