Thursday, January 19, 2023

Never Ignored


After returning from my ophthalmologist's office, I looked for this image online. I wanted to see what he was explaining about the retinal tear in my eye. A while ago, after falling asleep to flashing lights, I woke up thinking my eye had become the embodiment of Luke 6:41 because it appeared I had a log in my eye. The doctor reports that while the tear in my retina will heal, the fuzzy spot in my eye will not.

A week later, I can comfortably work with the fuzzy log in my eye, even though I am acutely aware it is there. I understand that my brain can inhibit noticing this abnormality, but it seems to be taking its time getting there.  Just don’t ask me to remove a speck from your eye.

It is fascinating to me how the inhibition of sensory memory works. For every waking moment, our brain is sifting through tons of sensory information and deciding what is worth attention and what will be inhibited. If this didn't happen, we would be unable to think through all the sensory noise. For instance, if you feel a tiny rock in your shoe, your brain will not likely inhibit this information. You need to get rid of the rock to protect your feet. But, if you are in a place where it would not be polite to disrobe your feet, you will find difficulty ignoring the rock. Once you take care of things, you immediately stop paying attention to the feel of your socks. This action clears up space in your brain allowing better learning and interaction.

I wonder if so many people dream that they find themselves in public without pants is because once our brains make sure we are wearing pants, we stop paying attention to the feel of them. So, if we are not noticing the feel of pants in a dream, it would be logical to assume they are missing. I don't know because I studied cognition instead of dreams in my psychology classes. But I do know that our brains are very good at ignoring things that are always there.

My peace is that even though God designs my brain to learn to ignore, God never ignores me.

Wondrously show Your steadfast love, O savior of those who seek refuge from their adversaries at Your right hand. Keep me as the apple of Your eye; hide me in the shadow of Your wings. Psalm 17: 7-8

Packed into these verses of Psalm 17 are two ways God does not ignore us. First, His love is steadfast. A steadfast love is not only unwavering; it is active. This love is the polar opposite of ignoring because it is a love that misses nothing. Steadfast love also pays close attention because it constantly acts on our behalf. Steadfast love is one of my favorite descriptions for God because steadfast is everything I’m not.

The second assurance in these verses is in the phrase “apple of your eye.” The apple refers to the pupil; we use this phrase to indicate someone we cherish. Our eyes are precious because of the information they transmit to the brain, but they must be exposed to the world to work. Because of this, our body diligently protects the eye. Any movement will cause us to blink or turn our heads. Even when we are not actively thinking about our eyes, the brain is still alert to protect them.

Think about the peace involved in being the apple of the eye of a steadfast God. He is always there. He is always paying attention. He

is always acting on our behalf. We are loved and loved fiercely.




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