Seeing Through the Eyes of Faith

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Seeing Through the Eyes of FaithI have always been blessed in life to have full use of my extremities and five senses. As a result, it has become easy over the course of my life to take having those things for granted. I could never imagine what it would be like to wake up one morning without the use of them, but yet there are people who live their entire lives without the full use of their extremities, or with the loss of one or more of their five senses. To live their lives in that manner has to be frustrating at best, but yet if you were to speak to some of them they could tell you stories of how their life limitations have not only blessed them, but have allowed them to be a blessing to others.

Of the five senses, I would have to say that the most important one for me is my vision. I love to read and write and so I greatly depend on being able to have my vision. I never realized just how important that is until the vision in my right eye started to give me major problems in October 2010 leading to cataract surgery in November 2010 in hopes that the vision would clear up. Unfortunately, things did not go as well as expected.

For the past 3 years, since my cataract surgery, I have been coping with extreme vision problems in my right eye. Several physicians from both the Veterans Association Hospital, as well as physicians at the Wilmer Eye Institute at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore Maryland, have worked with me trying to figure out why it is that no medication that has been prescribed or procedures performed seem to make any difference as far as being able to clear up the vision in that eye. A biopsy was performed to see if anything might be discovered that would help shed some light on this situation. The biopsy did show that there is a small infection growing in my right eye and I was given several antibiotic injections in my right eye in hopes of combating the infection.

The good news is that the inflammation and bleeding in front of the eye seem to have settled down, and the swelling in back of the eye decreased significantly. However, all that I am able to see with my right eye are hazy shadows of objects at best, and that is only when the objects are extremely close to me. My line of sight with that eye, as compared to my left eye, is extremely narrow, as objects literally appear to be washed out or disappear altogether as they are moved further and further away. Real bright lights being shined directly in right eye have become my arch nemesis because of the blinding effect that it causes. That has become one of the main reasons that I have had to curtail a lot of late night driving other than in areas that I am most familiar with. Also there appears to be no discernible color distinction with using only my right eye and so everything that I am able to see with that eye is in black and white.

Some people may look at my situation as a major setback. Others, if faced with a similar challenge, may even give up hope altogether. I choose; however, to be thankful that I still have one good eye, and with that eye I am still able to function and do the things that I need to do with minor limitations. Yes, it may be true that I may never regain full vision in my right eye, but that is not a reason to lose hope and quit. Frank A. Clark whose instructive and insightful “The Country Parson” sermons were treasured by loyal fans once said,

If you can find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn’t lead anywhere.

Someone has also said, “A bend in the road is not the end of the road… unless you fail to make the turn.” To me, my situation is just a small bend in the road that I am traveling, and by faith and determination, I choose to make the turn at the bend to continue on my journey.

I will admit that it does get frustrating at times when I want to do things and even my left eye after being put to the test after so many hours of the day grows tired and irritated prohibiting me from doing all that I have planned. Nevertheless, I am still blessed to be able to continue with my writing and to share the things that I write with others who have in turn been blessed.

As I think about my own minor infirmity, I am reminded of the Apostle Paul when he asked the Lord three times to take away the thorn in the flesh that had been given him and the Lord replied, “My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9). Paul responds by saying,

Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong” (2 Corinthians 12:10).

We are also taught in the Book of Mormon, in Ether 12:27,

And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.

In this life each of us will have our challenges to face – our own “thorns in the flesh” as it were, but we must decide whether we are going to give in and claim defeat, or become determined to continue to carry on. I may only have one eye that is functioning at an hundred percent at the moment, but I will humbly continue to press forward with the sure knowledge that the Lord will give me the strength that is necessary to do the things that are required of me. Yes, physically I may have only one good eye, but spiritually by His grace which is sufficient; I am able to see clearly with both eyes because I am seeing through the eyes of faith.