The Right PrescriptionPosted May 30th, 2012
by Anita Cobb
When I was a young teen, we would go on long walks through our orchard, my mother and I. We had the best talks as we observed migratory birds, local songbirds, and the rustling of playful squirrels as they raced pell-mell across the branches high above us. We praised our sweet Creator for what we observed of His supreme handiwork. We also solved a lot of life’s problems during those walks.
But there was one question Momma asked to which I could never find the answer. “Darling,” she would ponder, “if you were to have to choose between losing your eyesight or your hearing, which would you choose?” This was her way of directing me toward a career focus. I was strong in both music and the visual arts, but I did not realize at the time how important her question could be.
Well, at first I chose to utilize the strength of my farm-girl back and to test the depth of my compassion. I became a nurse’s aide in a local nursing home. I sang often, thanking Momma for the old songs she had taught me. And I drew little pictures to brighten the days of the new friends I made.
The years passed, and about ten years ago my eyes started playing tricks on me. I recalled what Momma had asked, and realized that I now knew which sense I valued most. It was my eyesight. At first, the vision problem presented itself as a ghost image. Soon it was two ghost images. Then things far away just would not come into focus. My vision progressed, or rather digressed, into being either near sighted or far sighted, but rarely both. It was strange.
Frustrated and Terrified
I felt old. I felt frustrated. Frankly, I felt terrified. I had become a commercial artist. Sight is a huge part of my livelihood. My favorite pastime is detailed little doodles! Not being able to see this fascinating world in which I lived seemed to be becoming a distinct possibility.
My eye doctor would try to understand what I was saying when I would describe my experience. But honestly, I felt like he viewed me as a crazy person. Year after year I would get a new prescription and still not be able to see right.
Then last spring, our son was wounded in Afghanistan and, due to his injury, he needed an advocate during his recovery. I stayed with him, accompanying him to all his appointments. One appointment was with a vision therapist. In her office was a long line of pictures on the wall showing what impaired vision for different people appears like to them.
The very last one made me gasp in excitement! It was the way I saw the world! I wasn’t crazy!
Head Spinning, Heart Pounding
I knew the medical staff couldn’t work with me, as their work was with wounded veterans, but I asked the therapist to share with me what she could about this vision problem. She looked at me and said, “This is how you see things?”
Holding up her pen and stepping back, she asked when I started to see double. “Now,” I immediately replied.
She did another quick test, then asked me what I was doing with bifocals, what kind of vision specialist I had seen, and what she could do to discourage me from driving at night!
My head was spinning. My heart was pounding. Here was hope. I’d do anything to follow it up.
As a doctor working for the Veterans Administration, the vision therapist could do nothing more to help me, but she gave me the names of doctors near my home with whom I could set up an appointment. She wrote down suggested concerns to bring up with them and asked me to let her know how things turned out.
I met my new doctor, shared the concerns and questions, and began undergoing tests I had not previously experienced. It turned out the bifocals had to go. It’s now separate driving glasses and reading glasses.
My glasses had been abusing my eyes. The new ones put an end to that. The accompanying exercises and therapy are bringing my vision back to a level that I haven’t experienced in years! I am also drinking more water and resting my eyes more often. Both of these strategies are important.
I am so pleased and happy to be seeing the world in focus again!
As I have thought about what caused me to lose my good vision, I found a spiritual analogy that caused me to see other parts of my life differently.
I grew up in a God-centered home. I was focused. But as time went on, I tested my own strength and misinterpreted the extent of it. Every day I was getting weaker and weaker but I wasn’t aware of it until it was beyond me to know what had caused my problems. I had gotten lazy about drinking from the “Water of Life” and I had been careless about my spiritual “rest.”
How had I become helpless to see things correctly?
Spiritually, I wasn’t seeing the right doctor. My outlook was out of whack and I was discouraged and feeling hopeless about the future. I needed to focus on what only the Lord could offer me. It was only then that I was able see the world clearly.
Each of us sees life, spiritually, in different ways. Some are nearsighted; some are farsighted. Some suffer impairments due to injuries or illness. Others are, like I was, foolishly thinking they are stronger than they really are.
The real need is to focus on God’s Word and on time in repose with Him. We so often just wear ourselves down, stubbornly thinking we are fine until the truth is smacking us in our blind face.
But we do have a Great Physician. He knows just what it takes to restore our vision.