Monday, March 17, 2008

A Time for Reason

Hello friends,

It has been a few days since I have written. I apologize for that. My eyesight changes from moment to moment. Sometimes everything blurs, as it is now; while other times that dad-burn spot is more noticeable than anything else.

Here are the medical facts on my eyes. My left eye, which I never thought to question has macular degeneration (MD). Macular degeneration is fairly common in those of us who are referred to as “elderly,” definitely not my favorite description. The MD in my left eye is small and unlikely to progress, unless you account for the problem in my right eye. My right eye, the one I’m having difficulty seeing through, has Central Serous Retinopathy (CSR). At the back of my right eyeball, to make things brief, is a bubble, which gives my vision a mostly orange spot, through which I struggle to see. We’re waiting to see if it will heal itself, before we consider surgery.

To say the least, I was not expecting this. I eat lots of berries, the wonder fruit. I love broccoli, carrots, salads, spinach, oranges, tangerines, and all the other eye protecting foods. Surprisingly, my diabetes has nothing to do with my eye problems. Yet, here I am, with eye problems, as though I ate burgers and French fries every day of my life. I haven’t had sugar in four years, and my A1c (diabetic blood test, which measures glucose) has gone from 7.5 down to 6.2, which is nearly normal.

So, why? Why? I ask myself and God. What is God saying to me in all of this? Maybe I’m being punished for my sins? No, I’m certain not. For Jesus said, when asked this about a blind man, “This is for the glory of God the Father.” So, why? Does God dislike me? No. God is not full of human prejudices. He loves each of us, in a personal way. God is filled with loving-kindness, mercy, and goodness. So why? Why me?

What does the “faith movement say?” First it says, “Send me your money.” Then it says, “If you had faith, you would be healed.” Now, understand, I believe in faith. I believe that faith can move mountains. But I ask you, which is easier, moving mountains or moving the human heart? Of course, Jesus answered this, when he told the paralyzed man to “take up your bed and walk.” He made the comparison of His power. He said, which is greater, to forgive sins or to heal a person. Of course, the greater gift is to forgive sins.

I do not believe that I have any personal power. The belief in personal power permeates, not only the secular world, but also the Body of Christ. As a result of this, people with severe illness and also mental illness are written off as weak in faith. Worse yet, they are often told that they have sin in their life. Really! Well, welcome to the club. I have sin in my life. I’m impatient, often ungrateful, crabby, and whining. I’m sure I have other faults, too. However, the ones who accumulate wealth, at the expense of poor souls, who are misled by empty promises, they have sins, too. And the worst sin they commit, is to insist that they know the mind of God, and even worse, they pervert the Gospel of Christ.

So, I ask myself why? Why me? And, of course, I know the reason.

Jesus did not say, “Take up your bank-card and follow Me.”

He did not say, “Acquire wealth, and I will give you more.”

He did not say, “Think yourself rich, or well, or blessed.”

Jesus said, “Pick up your Cross, and follow me.”

To the man building a bigger barn to hold all his wealth, Jesus said, “Thou fool! Tonight thy soul will be required of thee.”

In the Old Testament, God said to His people, “Come let us reason together.”

God also said, “Obedience is greater than sacrifice.”

So, I really do know the answer to my present struggle. I am to be obedient. I am to pick up my Cross and follow Him. I am to be thankful for every breath I take. I am to look in every corner of my life, and know that God is responsible for every good thing. I am to reason with Him, and I am to listen with my heart, as He leads me from grace to grace. And should the darkness fall upon my eyes, so that I cannot see the beautiful things I love, such as, my husband’s deep green eyes so filled with love. Or the devotion of my daughters’ smiling encouragement. Or the wag of our puppies’ tails. Or the sunset. Or the sunrise. Or the fresh blooms of spring. I will remember and be thankful for each good thing.

Father in Heaven, I have let you down again and again. I have forgotten the humility of Your Son, Jesus Christ, who endured untold sufferings, so that I could whine and complain about what I lack. Thank You, Jesus, for loving me and saving me from myself. In the days ahead, no matter the path, may I walk with you, in trust, and may I carry my Cross with joy.

With love,
Jaye Lewis

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