Cataracts of the Soul

A "cataract" view of spring

A “cataract” view of spring

“Everything looks too blue,” a friend tells the eye surgeon.

“The cataract that I removed from your eye was blocking out almost 100% of the blue in your vision,” his surgeon explains.

His eye was unable to see true colors, but his brain had gradually grown accustomed to  this view and it became the “new normal”.

True colors of spring

True colors of spring

God created our wonderfully complex bodies to function under such a wide array of conditions and environments. When something goes wrong, a limb must be amputated, or one of our senses is damaged, many times the body can adjust and continue to function. An eye with a cataract does not see clearly, but a body can still function.

How is it possible to have cataracts of the soul? A cataract clouds the eye, blurs the vision. Don’t we have moments, days, or even years when our soul seems to drift? When our vision of God is cloudy, blurred?

Ann Voskamp makes this startling statement in her devotional book of One Thousand Gifts: 

When the purity of Jesus lies over a heart, His transparency burns the cataracts off the soul. The only way to see God manifested in the world around is with the eyes of Jesus within. (p. 85)

Changing my perspective of life, seeing the gifts daily and keeping them in a journal, gives me that joy that only comes from a great God. Seeing the hard things, the hard-to-understand events as eurcharisteo and give thanks for these things really has become my daily prayer. Am I always able to “see” beyond the cataract? No.  Our vision is just limited sometimes. But I am convinced of this: “Praying with eyes wide open is the only way to pray without ceasing” (Voskamp, p. 121).

This metaphor, cataracts of the soul, helps me understand how gradually our view of the world can be altered; we can so easily lose sight of the Cross, the glory of God.

I have to keep my eyes open, keep my heart open to God’s gifts. The alternative is to let cataracts cloud my vision, negative thoughts cloud my heart, drift through the days without a view of my Creator.

After a week filled with terror, explosions, destruction, lives lost or forever damaged, we ask “Where was God?” But wait a few minutes. The images that replace the destruction and damage suddenly grab the headlines: personal sacrifice, running toward the danger, strangers helping strangers, first responders who risk their lives for others.Boston1stResp

Counting these joys:

  • a brotherhood/sisterhood of First Responders unite to arrest a suspect
  • news media that look for the good, the acts of kindness, the stories of heroes
  • a city of medical staff to give the best care possible
  • devastation that cause neighborhoods and communities to gather resources to heal, soothe, replenish, give hope when life looks hopeless



3 thoughts on “Cataracts of the Soul

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