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  • Writer's pictureCaleb Ward

Blurry Lenses

Updated: May 13, 2021

An eye doctor leans back in his chair as the next patient comes in.

Thick glasses cover the young woman who walks in. She squints at the awards and photographs lining the room before sitting down in the chair.

"Hi, how are you doing today?" The eye doctor smiles warmly.

"I'm fine." She looks discouraged as she fidgets with her hands in her lap.

"What can I do for you today?"

"I think I need a thicker prescription. The world around me keeps getting more chaotic and blurry. I just want to be safe and I can't be if I can't see clearly. And why do you keep thrashing back and forth like that?"

The eye doctor's eyebrows jump. The woman in front of him had lenses thicker than bulletproof glass.

"I'm not moving ma'am. Can I see those?"

She hands him the lenses and he peers through them. The world through them seems to waver violently, everything shifting unpredictably.

"I've seen these before, I call them worry lenses." The eye doctor looks at the woman sympathetically and pulls another pair of glasses off his desk. "Try these, they're lenses of faithfulness."

The woman puts them on and blinks rapidly. "I can see you. You're... you're not moving."

"Things change in the world, but your prescription gave you a view of life where nothing is constant or trustworthy. I was never moving."

She thanks him and leaves.

A man comes in next wearing square looking glasses. His body sags into the chair across from the eye doctor.

"I can't figure out what's wrong with me. I'm successful and doing well, but something about my vision just seems off."

"Where did you get those glasses?"

"From my dad, these have been passed down for generations. Every man in my family is expected to wear them."

"Everyone's prescription is a little different. You're not your father."

"But I-"

"Why don't you just try these on and see what you think." The eye doctor leans forward and hands the man a different pair of glasses, these ones rounder with a different tint. "They're called calling glasses."

The man puts them on and lets out a short laugh. "It looks so clear, like they were made for me."

"That's because they were."

He jerks them off. "But I shouldn't, I can't disappoint my father." He stands. "Thanks though."

The eye doctor sighs as the man walks out. Countless people come into his office wearing glasses they were never meant to wear, glasses distort their vision of reality and blur the truth. He can point them to the truth, but there were plenty who chose not to take it.

The next man comes in, his glasses tinted red. He sits down and taps his fingers on the armrest impatiently.

"What can I-"

"I need something to change. It's like everything in the world is working together to annoy and frustrate me."

The eye doctor leans forward and gives the man a smile.

"Oh don't look at me like that." his face grows red. "I'm not some pathetic boy needing sympathy."

"Sir, it might help if you try these on." The eye doctor hands the man a pair of clear tinted lenses of gratitude.

"Why should I?"

"Just try them."

"Fine." The man jerks his glasses off and puts on the new ones. He opens his mouth to speak but stays silent.

"How's that?" The eye doctor tilts his head slightly.

"The world, it's not ...."


The man begins to laugh like geyser of pent up water shooting out of the ground. "Thank you."

The man leaves and the eye doctor picks up the glasses he's dubbed glasses of hatred. He snaps the lenses in half and drops them in the trash.

A girl shuffles in, her lenses small and dark. "I'm not sure why my family made me come. My eyesight is fine."

"Well lets see. Can I look at your glasses?"

"Are you saying there's something wrong with them? That I'd be stupid enough to wear glasses that aren't my prescription?" She clutches them and glares at him. "How dare you accuse me of being an idiot."

"I don't think you're an idiot, just let me see them for a second." The eye doctor holds out his hand.

"Fine." She takes them off and places them in his hand. "But I expect them back."

He peers through them. "Everything looks the same though these, like something dark and menacing is about to attack."

"Isn't it? I'm a realist and that's just how the world is."

"Why don't you try these?" He hands her a pair of glasses. The lenses had been popped out so that frames were empty.

She glances through them for a second before jerking them off. "Ugh. The world looks to bright and manufactured through these, it's unnatural. Like I said, I'm a realist."

She stands and grabs her victim glasses off the table.


"Save it. I knew coming here would be a waste of time. No one understands what I've been through." She marches out, slamming the door behind her.

The eye doctor sighs. He's seen more people wearing victim lenses recently than he could care to count. It was sad, but all he could do was offer them a chance to see that the world wasn't after them. A guy walks in wearing glasses that keep slipping off and sliding down his face.

"I need a pair of glasses exactly like these but they fit," he says.

"Where did you get those?"

"They're the glasses of this amazing pastor. He had such an anointing and when he passed, I was able to get them."

"Well I'm not sure we'd be able to get you those exact glasses, you can't just take someone else's prescription as yours."

"But he had an incredible vision. I want that." The glasses slid down again and he holds them up with his hand.

"But they're not yours. You need your own prescription." The eye doctor shakes his head, envy would destroy this man's eyes and had prevented him from seeing through his own vision. "You need some gifting glasses."

The guy stands. "Well never mind then, I'll just go somewhere else and find a doctor who can help me." He holds the glasses to keep them from falling off his face as he marched out of the room.

A girl walks in, shuffling her feet. She wears lenses so dark it was impossible to see her eyes.

"Hi. I um was told to come here. Everyone else seems to see the world brightly, I wish I could be like them. But I don't see how being here will do anything." She slumps into the chair and sighs.

"Can I see your glasses?"

"Um, sure." She hands him the glasses, squinting at the harsh light when she takes them off.

"Man things look pretty dark and hopeless through these." The eye doctor places them on the table and hands her another pair. "Look through these, they'll let more light in."

She puts them on and begins to cry. "Everyone always called me a negative Nancy, all I could see was the bad. But the world looks so bright right now. What did you do to these lenses?"

"Nothing, they're clear."

"Really? Everything is so colorful." She stares at the green chair, then at the white and blue patterned floor. "Thank you."

"You're welcome young lady. Stay away from the lenses of hopelessness."

She stands and leans over, giving him a side hug. Then she runs out of the room, trying to look in every direction at once so she can take in the full extent of the world.

The eye doctor laughs.

People so often put on the wrong prescription, distorting the true reality, blurring the beauty of God moving. Lenses of anger, envy, hopelessness, expectations, victimhood, and worry were sadly commonplace. But his job as the eye doctor is to show people the truth. It's a job he cherishes.


If you like this, check out an exclusive short story here

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