[ Miracles ]

A Sight for Sore Eyes

Due to complications of an illness, without warning I'd been struck blind. Doctors raced to stop the damage to my eyes before it was too late. After each examination, the cornea specialist held his hand in front of me and asked how many fingers I could see. Day after day I replied, "none."

The last several weeks, I'd been living in my most dreaded nightmare. I felt alone, frustrated, and afraid. My plans for the future hung by a thin thread that could break at any moment.

The searing pain stabbed at my eyes, as if fire were consuming them. But worse than the excruciating physical torment was agonizing over the "What if's."

What if I pulled the protective coverings off in my sleep and rubbed my eyes against the pillow? The doctor had warned me to avoid even a slight touch to my inflamed corneas.

What if I would never again drive my car, watch a sunset, or gaze into the eyes of my grandbaby?

During the long, sleepless nights, I questioned God in despair. "Why is this happening? I CAN'T be permanently blinded!"

Besides the torturous pain and the devastating fear, I worried about medical bills. One doctor visit cost $800, and I saw him daily for six weeks.

I'd become very protective of my eyes and skittish about anything coming near them. I needed Valium just to be coaxed into the examining chair. When the doctor came toward me with tweezers, I recoiled in terror. I shook with fear at the thought of him touching my eyes.

So you can understand my reaction when the surgeon announced that he needed to lift my cornea and clean under it. I told him, "I'd rather have my legs amputated!"

They say courage is fear that's said its prayers. I knew there were many people praying for me. I too prayed fervently, begging not only for healing of my eyes, but for strength to endure whatever happened.

While lying awake one night, I listened to an all-night station playing gentle music and soothing Bible passages. It comforted and calmed me. I began looking forward to listening every night. I was awake anyway, and it helped the hours pass more quickly.

Like a fountain of fresh water, God's Word and the soothing music rinsed away my anxiety, replacing it with peace. I remembered the words of Jesus: "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you . . . Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." (John 14:27)

At last, I was able to say, "Whatever you want, God."

I gave my fears to God and determined to believe in His love for me. I knew He would keep His hand on me, no matter what happened. I believed He wanted only what was best, so why should I fear? If He chose to heal me, I would be grateful. If He chose not to, I knew He had a reason for that, too. No matter what, with His help, I could go on and use my life for Him.

The surgery went well. It was a long recovery, but I defied all odds. Slowly the blackness turned to a fog which gradually grew clearer. After the ordeal, my doctor confided that he'd thought I would ever see again. He said it was a miracle, but I already knew that.

Actually, God gave me two miracles. He restored my sight when doctors believed it was hopeless and, like a plant bursting forth from a dead seed, faith and hope had blossomed from fear. Perhaps that was an even greater miracle.

Marsha J.

Harshaw, WI