Bringing the Text to Life

From a Distance Hebrews 11:1-3, 8-19

Faith requires distance for it to be true faith. No distance, no faith.

Most of us know that the technical term for nearsightedness (which, ironically, means we can see things that are near to us but cannot see those that are far away) is myopia. It's a handy word with an interesting sound that wordsmiths such as writers and preachers find highly useful.

Not many of us, however, are probably familiar with the medically correct term for the opposite vision condition: farsightedness (that is, the ability to see things far away more clearly than things right under our noses). Hyperopia defines this condition, but has not yet found its way into our literary vocabulary. As America, and especially the baby-boomer generation, continues to age, however, hyperopia is a term we should all consider.

One of the normal effects of aging is that most of us become hyperopic. As the eye muscles lose their elasticity, their ability to tighten up and focus on objects close at hand becomes less precise. Hence reading newspapers, menus, and threading needles suddenly...

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