"I'm glad you came. Some people put off getting a new prescription and end up doing permanent damage to their eyes."
He was Jerry’s optician, and he seemed to show a genuine concern for his welfare. What he had said made Jerry feel pleased that he had taken the time out of his busy schedule to have his eyes checked.
After the exam, he was ushered into a waiting room where he was seated, and told that he would have the new glasses in his hands within the hour.
As he sat down, he looked across the room and saw three other people. One was a very large woman who was sitting next to a very large boy who stared back at him. They were obviously mother and son. Along from them sat a woman whose face he couldn't see because of a magazine she was holding close to her eyes. No doubt she's waiting for her new prescription, Jerry thought to himself.
He looked beside him at the mound of magazines and a small stack of bright yellow bookmarks with the name, address, and phone number of the optician on them. Across the top was boldly written: "What can be more important than your eyes?"
He picked up a Time magazine and flicked through it. It was two weeks old, and Jerry was intimately familiar with almost every news item in it. He put it down, picked up a bookmark and read the words again, "What can be more important than your eyes?"
He thought, I would hate to be blind; imagine seeing nothing but darkness until the day you die? I wouldn't give up my eyes for the world.
He slipped the bookmark into his shirt pocket, then picked up another magazine, sat it on his lap, and for some reason began to think about Connie. It was strange that he didn't realize how much he loved her until she got cancer. Again the nagging began in his mind: Why? Why did God let her die? She was a good woman. She was a faithful wife. She believed in God and look what He did to her!
Then he thought on the words he had had with the minister the previous day. He went home that night and read Psalm 51 in the Bible Connie gave him. It was just a prayer that King David prayed after he committed adultery. After reading it, Jerry decided that he would try and clean up his act; especially after hearing what the Bible said about "lust." He knew that it was wrong to let pornographic thoughts invade his mind, so he would try and think pure thoughts.
At the very moment he thought that, the woman opposite him took the magazine down from her eyes. Jerry had imagined her to be a little homely‑looking with thick glasses. She wasn't. In fact, she was gorgeous. She was so stunning he found that he wanted to stare at her. At that moment, she crossed her legs. He quickly picked up the magazine and thought, Wonderful! I decide not to lust after women, and straightaway I do it.
He didn't feel as though he had taken a good look at her, so he secretly peeped over the top of the magazine, but to his horror she was looking at him at that same instant. He put the magazine back on his lap and began to casually flick through it. He hadn't realized that it was a woman's publication and almost every page had pictures of more ravishing women, usually advertising underwear.
A battle began to rage in his mind: "This is ridiculous! There's nothing wrong with just looking at beautiful women. But would I want other men 'looking' at my sister like I look at other men's sisters? It's not hurting anyone! Maybe not, but God says lust is adultery. Well, why hasn't this sort of thing bothered me before? Because you've never tried to stop before, that's why. It's only natural for a man to sexually desire a woman. Yes, it does come naturally, but you know that pornography is wrong in God's sight, so why do you then think He condones pornography of the mind?"
Jerry put the magazine back and tried to pull his thoughts together. It was as though his conscience, which had been dead for so long, had suddenly come to life.
He felt annoyed that something he enjoyed was being threatened to be taken from him, by puritanical fanaticism. He was fine until that stupid minister pushed the Ten Commandments down his throat. He decided he would forget about the time he had had with Edwin and merely try and live a good life.
As he drove home that day he wore his new glasses. They didn't help him too much. Kevin Kickham had done a fine job--all they did was bring into sharper focus how much he lusted after women. He had never been so conscious of the fact that he desired almost every female his lustful eyes could find.
When he arrived home he felt as though he had been wallowing in a pigsty of his own sinful desires. His time at the optician's had truly been eye-opening.
To be continued...