We had a typical Midwestern winter blast last month and one day husband came home from work and walked into our frigid home and in a dismayed voice said, “It’s freezing in here!” Of course it wasn’t as cold as the outside temperatures but there was certainly a chill in the air. I was bundled in sweaters and wearing ski socks.
I hated to tell him that the furnace wasn’t working because it just wasn’t an expense we were prepared take on; but hiding the truth wasn’t going to do us any good either.
“The furnace is broke,” I admitted in as cheerful voice as I could muster. After all, it was just money.
“Really?!” was my husband’s response. I forgot that someone had just serviced the unit so it did seem a bit far-fetched that the furnace would now be broken.
“Yep,” I assured him. “All day I kept trying to turn the heat up but it never kicked on.”
My husband gave me one of “those” looks and walked over to the thermostat. After peering at it for less than a second, he glanced over his shoulder at me and, instead of confirming my diagnosis, said, “You have the heat at 53 degrees.”
I was perplexed, “Hmmm. I wonder how that happened.”
“Really, Cheryl, you need to start wearing your glasses.”
The Crazy Glue
My son needed some glue. My husband put a tube of Crazy Glue on the counter for my son’s use. The next day as my husband was leaving for work I ran after him waving the crazy glue that I had grabbed off the counter, “John! Don’t forget your Chapstick!”
In these harsh winter months, none of us likes to be without our Chapstick. Needless to say, it was a good thing that I knew my own Chapstick was in my purse lest I would have used this “Chapstick” myself.
My husband patiently looked at me — at least I think he was patiently looking at me — and simply said, “Really, Cheryl, you need to start wearing your glasses.”
It’s All the Same Thing, Right?
The reason that I didn’t wear my glasses had nothing to do with vanity. I simply did not believe that I needed them. Even as evidence piled up, it took a lot of convincing until I finally faced the reality that I really do need glasses.
And I have now begun to wear them. There’s even a sense of relief when I don them and can see the beauty of the snowflakes shimmering in the sun or the way in which letters on the computer screen are cleaner and crisper.
My husband smiles when he sees me in my glasses.
When we recognize and accept the truth of things it is good for us but also good for those we love. Everyone breathes a sigh of relief.
There are so many truths that we choose to ignore and “not see” because we are convinced that they don’t apply to us — or worse, that we don’t need them. Truth, we are convinced, is what we perceive. We forget that Truth isn’t subjective; it is objective. Whether I wanted to admit it or not, the truth of my needing glasses wasn’t on the line. The truth was that I needed them.
Our Catholic faith is like that; it is a Truth that will set us free — whether we want to admit it or not. Like putting on my glasses, our faith alleviates our frustrations and our burdens; it is a Truth of peace and of hope that helps us live a more fulfilling life. It allows us to see clearer than we could ever see on our own.
Being a Catholic means having to ask difficult questions of ourselves. As Catholics we are called to do a daily examination of conscience where it might be a good time for each of us to ask ourselves: What Truth am I choosing to ignore?
After all, Crazy Glue and Chapstick are not the same thing!