It’s a powerful feeling to know that someone is praying for you.*
About this time last year, I began to have trouble with my right eye. In November it was finally diagnosed: I had what turned out to be a tear in the retina, plus a hole in it.
Now I have trouble with my left eye.
I have a small hole in the bottom of my retina, fortunately (thank you Lord) out of the main area of my vision. But I recognized the problem immediately on Wednesday morning: Tuesday night I was sitting outside and I noticed a bright line to the left of my main focal area; then I had a ‘flashing’ that ran from the upper left of my peripheral vision to the lower left – almost like a lightning bolt, running across that area consistently whenever I moved my head and my eyes.
Having had a retinal tear before, this put me on alert.
Then Wednesday morning, I got up and had a massive floater, plus swirling clouds of small floaters in the eye.
I monitored this carefully during the early morning, and it didn’t go away.
These things are symptomatic of a retinal tear, so I called the same office that repaired my previous retinal problem. They said, “We will make an appointment for you …” They recognize that a retinal tear is nothing to disregard, and can be an emergent condition.
I was seen, and diagnosed with a (fortunately) small hole in my left retina, then given a slot for laser surgery in an hour or so.
Meanwhile we contacted our church, and people there prayed for me. Likewise, I prayed for God to have his hand on the doctor’s, that this retina tear would be successfully dealt with. And sitting there in the chair, with my eyes fully dilated and the room lights dimmed so that I could see without difficulty, God answered. Yes, I believe that God does answer prayer, and it’s up to us to listen for him.
I am here; I have my hand upon you; I am with you.
Even though this guy wasn’t my regular retina doctor. Even though I was scared to death because this eye is my good eye; it is the one with the best acuity; and even though I am scared to death of losing sight in it and therefore my life would change IF this wasn’t successful.
Now it’s a question of where I put my faith.
We meet a fork in the road like this and it’s entirely our choice. I said at the beginning of this blog that this is a road I’m walking; and you are witnesses to it. So with what faith I had, I said, “Let’s go, Lord. We’re in this together. You and me. What matters here is that You are God, and I give you what little faith I have, from the depths of my fears.”
The laser surgery went somewhat as last time: Having worked in television production for some 30 years, I’ve seen a lot of bright light. Many of them were brighter than the laser. But the BAM-BAM-BAM impacts of it against my retina were something I just had to grit my teeth and take. Kind of like getting punched in the eye by someone who wasn’t good at an eye shot.
And tonight as I write, it seems better.
I can’t tell you that it’s OH so better, because the symptoms don’t show it. I still have the floaters, but they’re a haze instead of clouds. Doubt wants me to panic. But I cling to faith.
And that’s where BOTH faith and prayer come in:
You are my refuge and my shield; I have put my hope in your word.
Thank you everyone, for your prayers.
*Tony Dungy wrote those words; he has a Men's Daily Devotion book out, and it's one of the best I've seen for relating to men and men's daily lives.