I had the thought before recently, but yesterday Linda and I really talked about it as if it could happen. With the recent advances in medical treatment, particularly around adult stem cells, I have begun to wonder if by that or some other means I might have significant improvement of my vision. It has not been a serious consideration to me until now. The repair of nerve tissue has been beyond the realm of possibility until recently. My condition being possibly unique means that direct research on it is unlikely. I have been pretty sure that science would not hold the answer and the most reasonable solutions that have been conceivable seemed to me to be far too risky to consider. What I have isn’t much but losing it is not a chance I have been willing to take.
What if there really is a chance now? Do I want it? Had I been asked a week ago I would have said emphatically “yes!” I still don’t know how I would feel if it were a sure thing. Adding the element of long-held hope for healing that could be dashed once again complicates my reaction. I think it is the hope that I fear. It has only been in recent years that I have finally begun to be at peace with being “blind.” For most of my life I wouldn’t even use that word. After all it’s not technically true as I have a little bit of vision. Now I find it easier to just say blind. I fought the tendency to be angry with God over it. Growing up we prayed often and tried every formula the Pentecostal/charismatic traditions had to offer. I became bitter, and it took many years for God to soften my heart and give me a new perspective on His sovereignty, omniscience, and love. I have learned at least in part to trust Him with my circumstances. I have learned to be thankful for the many good things I have. I can’t say I never struggle anymore, but I can say I am as content as I have ever been and I am ready to trust Him whatever He decides to do.
I don’t want to go back to the angst and frustration that comes with focusing on something you want to the exclusion of all else. It affected my ability to pray. It hampered my ability to minister to others in need. It was a wall between me and all that I hold dear. When I heard people like Joni Eareckson Tada say that they were content and would not change their circumstances if they had the chance, I thought at best they deluded themselves in an effort to cope. Now I begin to understand. Though it may be far from what it should be, I would not sacrifice my relationship with Jesus on the altar of my healing. It brings me to tears as I realize that I really do feel this way. I plan to make an appointment with a specialist I think most likely to be able to help me because in the absence of clear direction to the contrary I think I should seek to be healed, but if I find my hope turning once again to covetousness, I will rejoice in my blindness, for it is a small price to pay for what I have gained. If I must wait for this earthly life to end, then the first thing I will see clearly is the face of my Lord. Could there be anything better than that?