Let’s play a game of “Find The Differences.” In the picture above, which is a scan of my left and right eyes, there are a few things that don’t match. See how many you can find.
The pictures are as if you were looking at me, so the scan on the left is my right eye. The picture to the right is my left eye which looks normal for all intents and purposes.
The bright light in the middle of both eyes is the optic nerve which takes the information to the brain (or what’s left of it). The creepy black stuff in the left picture are the clots floating around inside of my eye. Since it is close to the optic nerve, I get to look through the clots. They don’t look black to me, but more of a brownish dirty color. What you can’t see in the picture but is seen by me are thousands of red blood cells. When a bit of blood drips into my field of vision, it almost looks like a ball with a long tail. As it travels, the tail gets longer and the ball smaller. I can actually see the individual red blood cells trail off and spread out. When it was at its worst, the collection of red cells appeared like a massive flock of mosquitoes. (Do mosquitoes come in flocks?)
Immediately to the 9 o’clock position of my right eye, you’ll see a bit of a darkish spot. This was from a past laser surgery fixing a central serous chorioretinopathy where fluid builds up behind the retina.
If you look to the outer portion of the left picture in the 10 o’clock position, you’ll see a ring with a darkish spot in the middle of it. The dark spot is the site of the tear and subsequent slight detachment. The ring is the laser surgery.
Now go to the 7 o’clock area of the laser ring. You will notice a small red dot just on the inside of the ring that touches the ring itself. This is the current hole in my retina that is slowly oozing blood. Since it is on the inside of the laser ring, it should not cause another detachment.
Enough of the anatomy and physiology lesson, and on to the theology lesson.
First of all, God is good. When the tear first happened, I was surrounded by a vast host of Christian friends, family really. They not only immediately began praying for me, but also helped me load all of the stuff I brought to the CST tournament (which included a small coffee shop I run for Colorado events).
The tear did not lead to a detachment until just before surgery, and therefore a laser repair was still a viable option. Otherwise, the surgeon would have had to open my eye and reattach the retina that way. I would have been out of commission for a good 3 weeks had that happened.
With this development of a hole in my retina, it happened inside of the laser ring. Had it been outside the ring, I would not have been able to fly home due to a risk of further detachment, and may have needed to stay in Phoenix for a second surgery. By the providence of God, one of the ballot check ladies is an eye doctor who was able to arrange for an eye appointment with someone she knew and trusted, getting me in that same day. The eye doctor gave me a “friends and family” discount because of my situation, and reassured me that the hole was nothing to be overly concerned about until I got home.
But it isn’t just this. I have also considered the time we live in. Had this happened 150 years ago, there would not have been any other option but to go blind in my right eye. God has directed really smart people to learn how to do eye surgery, and then how to develop and use a laser.
I could go on, but I hope you get the point. God has a purpose and plan for all that happens, whether we see it as good or not so good. It may be that I will come in contact with someone who needs to hear the gospel in a way that I can share it, and that God may save someone through this event. It may be that some of you need to hear again of the goodness of God in difficult times. It may be that I needed to know of the love and comfort that God’s people give, even if they have never met me. I cannot tell you how encouraged I was to be in Phoenix and have so many come up to me and ask how my eye was doing and letting me know they have been praying for me.
We have such a great family of God, this body of Christ. I am experiencing the “one anothers” and it just warms my heart and let’s me know that the true church is alive and well. The body may be pretty small, but it is powerful.
So, thank you to all who have prayed and are praying. This is how the body is supposed to work, and I am glad to be a part of it. May the Lord bless you all.