15 years young. The age that I became a Christian. I was a junior in High School. Looking back, I can now say that I’ve been a Christian for more than half of my life. But there is another fascinating statistic about me that only some may know. I’ve had blue eyes for more than half of my life.
No, I wasn’t born with blue eyes. I acquired them through the help of my optometrist. In 2001 I got colored contact lenses. I had a prescription, but I wanted more of a reason to deal with the hassle of contact lenses….20/20 vision wasn’t justifiable enough for my teenage mind. My optometrist informed me about colored contacts, and I was immediately sold. He told me that I was one of the first students to jump on this trend. I couldn’t have been anymore happy to hear that. I thrived on the idea of being different.
Fast forward to 2020. It is a year we will all remember. It is a year where many faced loss, pain and suffering. Most of us had to make big adjustments in our lives. One of the biggest adjustments I made in 2020 was moving back to clear contact lenses. I was told I would need customized astigmatism lenses to improve my vision. Colored contacts with this specific lens wasn’t available. I know it sounds like a minor adjustment, but it was a paradigm shift for me. Let me explain.
I’ve worn colored contacts for 19 years before I made my mutating shift from blue back to my natural eye color. That’s a year short of 2 decades! This meant hundreds of conversations with strangers and new acquaintances about my eyes. Over the years I believe there have been hundreds more that have stared at me because they’ve never seen a blue-eyed Asian man. I was used to that kind of attention. It wasn’t negative attention. It was just…different. To tell you the truth, I’m still getting used to the lack of attention that my natural colored eyes are getting me these days.
So, what’s the point of sharing this big change in my life? Well I began to contemplate on the spiritual implications of my colored contacts. I wore blue for so long that they became part of my identity. Wearing them since 2001 covered half of my time in high school, and all of my time in college and graduate school. These temporary, removable objects felt like they were a part of who I was. Truly, when I had to make the switch to clear contact lenses, I felt as if I was losing my identity.
I had to go to scripture and remind myself who I was in Christ. Here are a few verses that I reflected upon. All of these traits are for those who claim to be a Christ Follower. Feel free to look them up:
I am a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17).
I am God’s workmanship (Ephesians 2:10).
I am renewed in the knowledge of God (Colossians 3:9-10).
I have received abundant grace (Romans 5:17).
I have peace that surpasses all understanding (Philippians 4:7).
I have the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16).
I am holy without blame before Him in love (Ephesians 1:4).
I am complete in Christ (Colossians 2:10).
I am chosen by God (1 Peter 2:9).
I have everything I need to live the way God intended (2 Peter 1:3-4).
I am redeemed and forgiven (Ephesians 1:7).
I am healed and whole in Jesus (Isaiah 53:5; 1 Peter 2:24).
I am adopted (Romans 8:15).
Forgive me for the cramming of these traits of a Christian, but I thought it was important to list more than a few at the hope that one of these truths would encourage you as you read this. Truly this list could go on and on. Christians can surely get a clue on who they are through God’s Word (the Bible).
My hope for me is that I will be able to rest in the identity I have in Christ. Not in what I wear (colored contacts lenses). So, it is for all of us. May we stop finding our identities in what we wear, or what we do. Let us be confident as we find our identity by reading about the character traits of Christians that we find in the Bible.