Friday, November 21, 2008

The Tale of the Amazing Glasses Lens (Or, Remember to Check Your Facts)

Here's a funny story, since I was just speaking of trust.

The other day I was at Mass with my children. During the homily, my son handed me his glasses, asking me to clean them. I saw the left lens was heavily fingerprinted, so I did the ol' breath-shine routine. The other one looked clean enough, so I handed them back to him.

He is not of the age to have made his first Holy Communion yet, so he stayed in the pew as my (even younger) daughter and I went forward. (Her constitution is rather heavy on the Velcro right now.) During the closing hymn my son, who had been laying under the pew (what, your kids never did that??) looked up at me with alarm and pointed out that one of the lenses was missing from his glasses.

Oh no. Not again.

Well, this will be easy, since you didn't move from this spot, and I just cleaned your glasses not 20 minutes ago. It must be right here.

We looked. The woman next to us looked. A neighbor who just happened to say hi stopped to look. We scoured under pews up to four rows behind us. We checked the office in case someone was hyper vigilant in turning it in to lost and found. I dug through my purse. I even persuaded my son to go into the bathroom and make sure it hadn't fallen in his clothing.


This was completely impossible. I was mystified. This defied reason.

We came home.

Imagine my surprise when I swept the floor yesterday and found the lens under the dinner table. My first thought? This lens has powers of bi-location!

But my son, apparently far more rational than myself, pointed out the obvious. "Mama, the reason you thought the other lens was clean was that it wasn't there!"

Come to think of it, I cleaned his glasses with my own glasses on, and my own glasses really only serve to completely mess up my vision right now. I can see perfectly without them as long as I don't need to see farther than five feet. With them on, I may as well be wearing two miniature opaque glass blocks.

The humorous thing is that I never once thought to mistrust my own senses, even knowing what I know about my vision, and even -- for a moment -- after finding the lens! It just goes to show that when reality appears irrational, there is some further testing of evidence that needs to happen.

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