Shattering the Rose-tinted Lens

7 months ago I was torn from my home. My body ravaged by disease, evacuated to a safe place, a place where medical care could be given. It had been a hard year in many ways, and a large part of me was glad to be gone, to rest, to acknowledge the stresses and to let them go, to escape the hard aspects of life in such a place, and to battle whatever was attacking my body. I would return rested, strong, healthy, and ready to go. I would be gone 7 days at the most.


Days turned into weeks, and weeks into months, my country of rest had to be left behind and my passport country faced me in order to find better treatment. Certainty faded away and my life was permeated with unknowns, time dragged on, and a return seemed almost invisible. As all these things happened, the difficult, hard, and bitter parts of life at home slowly faded away. Many things and people were missed, my mind magnified these things, and my longing to be back grew, it grew until it was all consuming. The rose-tinted lens had slipped across my eyes in a such subtle and deceptive way I hardly noticed.


The months merged together to form 7 months, and I found myself able to return home for a short visit, one month in the place that had consumed me. A place too bittersweet to describe. I wasn’t fully fooled by those rose-tinted lenses, it was a bittersweet place, I knew that all too well, but the sweet had far overpowered the bitter. 


Three short days, that’s all it took, three short days for the lens to be shattered.


All it took was a cold home, the stares of men as I walked the street, the shouts of young boys, the difficult logistics of meeting and socializing, an hour of boredom, and the re-realization of the limited freedom. Just the small things, just a few days, and it was shattered.


Without the rose-tinted lens I could see clearly. Things seem more bitter, the sweet only taking the edge off. Yet my heart is still tied, the brokenness around me compels me to taste and live the bitter. The warmth of a smile, and the welcome of those three kisses, the generosity of a cup of tea and a lone candy, reminds me of the sweet and helps me taste it.


Lens shattered, reality hitting home, I am still thankful to be here, still praising God.


Have you ever worn a rose-tinted lens?
When your rose-tinted lens is shattered what do you see?