Pastor Mark’s eNote – Field of Vision Test

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slide0043_image070     In another month or so I’ll travel down to the Emory Eye Clinic for my annual Humphrey Vision Field Test, an experience that is even less exciting than it sounds. Imagine a really boring, yet maddening, video game, and that is pretty much the Humphrey Vision Field Test.

     Here’s how it works. They cover one of your eyes and you stare at the center of a dome-shaped field while holding a clicker (the video game element). Then, little spots of light, some bright, some dim, flash around the dome (the maddening element). Whenever you see a light somewhere in your field of vision, you’re supposed to press the clicker. The result is a map revealing your blind spots (If you ever hear that I’ve been killed by a foul ball at a Gwinnett Braves game, just know that it probably came at me from my upper right quadrant).

     I’ve been doing this for years, but the test never fails to drive me crazy. As the test drones on I begin to feel a powerful urge to press the clicker randomly while screaming, but I think that might negate the effectiveness of the test and get me banned from Emory Hospital, so I resist.

     As maddening as it is, however, I’ll admit the results are always revealing.

     “Look right here,” Dr. Costarides said to me last time. “Down here in the lower left corner? That was a recently widowed woman sitting alone in last week’s worship service.” I hadn’t even noticed. “And then there was that family that wasn’t dressed quite as nicely as the folks on the row in front of them. Notice which family you spoke to. And yesterday at the store? The woman in the hijab said hello. Apparently, you have a hearing problem, too. And in the waiting room a little while ago, you sat right next to an African American teenager for about 30 minutes. I don’t think you WANTED to see him.”

     OK, OK! I get it. Now you know why I hate the test. None of us wants to see what we have chosen not to see. But the Savior we serve? He never missed a soul, did he? And still doesn’t. So, we come to church to study, to pray, to worship, and slowly, in Christ’s grace, our vision is sharpened. While we’re working at it, I guess we need each other. I hope you will notice the folks and the needs I miss, and I’ll do the same for you. And if you see a foul ball coming at me from my upper right quadrant, please yell.


                                                                                                              In Christ,

                                                                                                              Rev. Mark Westmoreland

Author: Mark Westmoreland

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