Watching “What not to wear” can be a cringe-inducing. Some of these poor women look so terrible and most of the time, they just don’t see it. My daughter and I watch and mutter, “Oh, honey….” We feel for them. They step into the 360 mirror and sometimes see what we see; other times, they think they’re rockin’ their look. I always tell my daughter, “If I ever look that bad – tell me!!” This show reveals the literal and figurative blind spots we can all have. We wear something and think we look great, only to look at ourselves years later and delete the picture. We say or do or think something and believe we’ve got it goin’ on, only to realize later, that we weren’t as sharp as we’d hoped.
Harper Lee noted the blind spots of some white folks in her community who were quick to assume that all blacks were guilty…even if they hadn’t done anything. To Kill a Mockingbird also includes a teacher who railed on Hitler’s atrocities while turning a blind eye to those in her town who were treated just as judgmentally and unfairly. Further underscoring her point, a group of powdered white ladies worked to raise money for “those poor African children who only have one white missionary” telling them the way to live rightly when they themselves live a few miles away from a Negro settlement that could greatly benefit from a group of caring white women who want to be generous with their resources.
It’s so easy to read and teach that book and say, “Look at these people! Don’t they see?!?” and not so easy to see my own blind spot I heft around day after day. We all get in patterns of responding and behaving and as the years tick by, the pattern continues. So I wonder, where am I blind and how many others see it clearly? Many times I’ve prayed, “Lord, let me see this rightly,” because the frustrating aspect of a blind spot is not realizing when you have one, but wondering how often you operate from one and don’t realize it!
This idea has been percolating for a bit so it’s no coincidence that a recent conversation stirred the mental brew. A friend shared with me that she’s giving up being judgmental for Lent. This is an area that perhaps she was blind to, maybe not, but she acknowledges (bravely) that it’s probably more obvious to others and she wants to work on it. I admire that! And then, while we were talking, I felt gentle nudging. ‘Yes, God I hear you talking to me.’ Maybe instead of giving up coffee or chocolate or soda for Lent, I should give up an intangible…something that God will reveal to me as a blind spot.
I KNOW I have stuff to work on. The questions are: How obvious is it? And, are my friends and family too kind to point it out? To the first – I hope not too much! and to the second, probably! Simply put, it’s easier not to see some things about ourselves and I admire those who take a hard look and say, ‘that needs to change.’ So that’s my goal: seeking an improvement in something about which I am totally unaware. Sounds almost impossible, but when we walk with God and He makes us more like Him every day, we can trust we’re in good hands.