Sunsets and SunGlasses

I yelled excitedly to my mom sitting in the passenger seat. I stared up at the green light, amazed. Until that singular moment, every “green light” I had ever seen was white. “They really are green!” I laughed. Mom laughed along while wiping away happy tears.

One of her dreams was to be there when technology found a way to help her colorblind son see colors. That day finally arrived, thanks to the creators of EnChroma glasses. Instantly, a whole new world of green lights and amazing sunsets came into view.

If you’ve ever taken a colorblind test — those maddening colored circle blobs with numbers hidden within — I see, on average, 5 to 10% of the numbers. There are all kinds of colorblind levels, but I have “strong protan” colorblindness which EnChroma says is “one of the most challenging forms of color vision deficiency because it significantly limits the range of color compared to common forms of color blindness.”  

To me, green lights look white. Yellow and red lights look the same. I only see one yellow band in rainbows. I see beauty in sunsets, but the colors are not vibrant. Buying a ripe banana without help is near impossible.

But this Christmas, Mom learned EnChroma had designed new glasses for us strong protan folks and bought a pair. The “try on” moment came on a pristine beach on the West Coast of Florida as the sun was setting. Family and friends had gathered for the rehearsal dinner of my nephew Robert’s wedding when Mom pulled out the glasses.

People were already “oohing and awing” at the beautiful sunset over the Gulf of Mexico when I nervously slipped on my fancy new sunglasses. 

As I looked up at the beauty of God’s incredible handiwork, all I could muster was, “No way!” I had never seen anything so beautiful and majestic. The colors were vibrant, deep and inspiring. I had absolutely no idea what I have been missing.

I love hearing stories of those who were “blind but now see.” As David Thoreau famously stated, “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.” In some way, it’s like looking at a magnificent sunset and not seeing the incredible beauty. But then the Light of the World enters and everything changes (see John 9). 

Last year I wrote about my own “quiet desperation” as I reluctantly went on a trip to Cuba. Standing on the stage congratulating graduates of the school my grandfather started, the seminary dean leaned over and quietly reminded me, “These are your graduates, too. They all study LOGOI’s Bible courses.”

The Light of the World showed up. And everything changed.

It’s easy to miss the beauty surrounding us. Sending a donation to LOGOI, your church, or other ministry often seems pretty black and white. Not much beauty there. One day the Light of the World will let us see through His “special glasses” of what He is accomplishing through us. I suspect we’ll look around and in speechless wonder and amazement say, “No way!”

I have enjoyed many gorgeous sunsets with the help of my new colorblind glasses. Even more beautiful to me, however, was to finally see my son’s beautiful eyes. People have often commented to me about them and now I see why. Thinking about it now is making my blues eyes tear up (a popular Thompson trait).

My prayer is that the Light of the World will give you special peeks into the amazing beauty and wonder of what God is accomplishing with your gifts to LOGOI. To help, we’ll be sending you little glimpses into the lives of whom you are investing. I can hardly wait for you to meet them. 

Oh, I’m still colorblind. I’m reminded every time I take off the glasses while looking at a sunset. But that’s ok. I now have a glimpse of what I’ve been missing and I can’t help but smile. It’s absolutely majestic! 

Click on the sunsetClick on the Sunset