Friday, July 20 2018 - 12:13 AM
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Eye Exam

Yesterday I went in for a yearly eye exam and did not get my usual “All is well.” The ophthalmologist looked at my results and said, “The pressure in one of your eyes has changed a lot during the past year.” I have to return for another test but it sounds like the beginning of glaucoma. My parents have both experienced this and now I am the genetic recipient. I called my brother to warn him to get his eyes checked. There is a greater chance of having the same problem when you have a sibling with glaucoma. Rats! Another reminder that parts of me are wearing out.

Sight is something I take for granted most days. I see much better when I apply my glasses each morning, and I greatly appreciate my prescription sunglasses. Glaucoma often effects peripheral vision and can lead to blindness. It probably means I will have to use special eye drops. I am praying that I will never lose my eyesight. One of my great passions is reading and I frequently use a computer. I was hoping to have lots more travels to enjoy natural scenery. I anticipate the sight of future grandchildren.

Tomorrow I am having lunch with a colleague who is sight-impaired. We got acquainted a few years ago taking a required class for our licensure. She lost her vision late in her teens so that it truly was a great adjustment. I connected with her partly due to her seeing-eye dog. And my friend reminded me of the brave and talented campers that I helped with one post-high school summer at Blind Camp. She has honed her listening skills in her many lifetime roles and jobs. I can learn from her.

I don’t know if I should say anything to my friend about my potential vision diagnosis. Why should I whine when she must navigate the world without any sight? Yet certainly she would understand my initial reactions. We have studied and prayed together through the past few years. I am always amazed at her determination in life. Her ability to use technology for all of her daily tasks is also high on my admiration register.

Of course, I can be thankful that my eye exam didn’t reveal something more dangerous or worrisome. When I am discouraged I am reminded of such passages as, “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith…” (Hebrews 12:2, NIV). He is the salve for my fears about the future.

Sometimes we can have spiritual glaucoma. We may not perceive movement or growth in the peripheral range when our eyesight dims. I want to see life and people the way Jesus does, so I can respond with mercy, grace and wisdom. Truly, there is more to sight than eyeballs. Countless times I have I uttered, “I see…” when I really did not get the picture.

Questions for personal journaling and group discussion:

1. What is truly pleasing to your eyes? What would you wish to gaze upon if you knew you would soon lose your sight?

2. Practice listening to some family or friends in dialogue with your eyes closed. Write about what you noticed in voice tones and background noises. Karen Sproul writes from Orlando, Florida.

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About Karen Spruill

Karen Spruill

writes from Orlando, Florida.

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