I have finally had to replace my sunglasses. My ‘good-ole’ faithful designer eyewear had lasted through five seasons. Twice they had been knocked off my face by an ocean wave yet re-discovered floating below the water. Several times the screw, which held the side arm in place, fell out; yet I was able to have them repaired and salvaged. They had been lost and found, treated recklessly by the playful hands of grandbabies, toted to a half-dozen foreign nations, and shoved into suitcases and purses of various shapes and sizes. Yet they survived . . . until several weeks ago. Finally, the frame broke and I was forced to discard my lenses.
I went shopping. I noticed myself sounding like a Dr. Seuss book: “Too big, too small, too dark, too light, too funky, not funky enough.” Of course the price had to be right and the face-complimenting aspect had to be perfect. I asked my husband for his opinion. I must say that he valiantly attempted to tell a woman in the kindest of words how each specimen enhanced her beauty. Obviously, I could not trust his flattering words. But I did have one honest consultant nearby – a mirror. I tried another children’s fable but the ‘Mirror, mirror on the wall; who’s the fairest of them all’ routine yielded nothing but my own reflection and the spectacle that sat on top of my nose.
Then, I found them. The frame was rose-colored. The lenses were rose-colored. They complimented my skin tone. The shape softened the hard angles of my face yet did not over-power the soft curves in my cheeks. Yes – I found them – the perfect replacement at an affordable price.
The first real test of my new sunglasses occurred last week end when I was invited to minister in Chicago. My husband and I loaded our car with all the necessities for a 6-hour road trip and a 4-day meeting. Shoved into my purse were the new sunglasses. Within several hours after our early morning departure, the sun was sufficiently bright that I needed my new shades.
Almost immediately after I donned them, I began to make comments about the beauty of the autumn colors of the trees. “Look at that bright red maple,” I exclaimed. “Wow, look at the hues on that hill.” “How gorgeous are those orange leaves on that sugar maple?” “Did you see that purple-tone on that sweetgum?” Finally, my husband remarked about my remarks. He seemed to think that I was over-stimulated and over-reacting to a lovely, yet not over-the-top landscape. He suggested that the color of my lenses might be having an effect on my vision.
So, I pulled off my new sunglasses. Much to my surprise, the colors all toned down. The red was not vivid red and the orange was not vibrant orange. I returned the glasses to my face and sure enough – more resplendent tones. Off – duller; On – flamboyant; Off – hushed; On – radiant. Oh yeah – the landscape became more colorful through my rose-colored lenses.
That set off a week-end of yokes about me and my rose-colored view of life. It seems that the glasses vicariously expressed my overall approach to living. I am known to my family as the forever Pollyanna. Finding the good in the bad, the possible in the difficult, the hope in the hopeless was a lesson I learned from my parents while growing up. And that set of lenses has never needed to be replaced. I’m not saying that I have never temporarily had them knocked off by a hard-hitting wave of circumstances or that I have not misplaced them from time to time. I’m not suggesting that I haven’t lost a few screws in the way I have viewed my world. I am even aware that traveling upon the highways of life has caused me to shove my optimism into a storage case from time to time. But – when I do decide to wear those glasses, the dull becomes vivid, the mild transforms into intense, and the faded returns to lustrous. Perhaps the Apostle Paul had found his own set of rose-colored lenses called worship when he advised us, “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” (Phil. 4:8)