Photo by Jenny Winkel
On Friday afternoon, I pulled out out of the parking lot after a visit with a pediatric ophthalmologist. One look in the rear view mirror showed a snapshot of my beautiful son, slouched over in the back seat. His left eye was covered up with a sticky patch while his right eye strained to see out of his new glasses.
"It's a real shame this wasn't taken care of earlier," the doctor reprimanded me. "Your son is legally blind in his right eye and if you don't keep his left eye patched up all day, every day for at least the next six months, he's going to hate you by the time he's twenty."
Don't you love it when people use guilt as a motivational tool? As if learning that my child was nearly blind in one eye didn't make me want to cry a river already.
Jackson didn't feel much like going back to school, so we ran a few errands at a strip mall, one of which was a haircut to get his shaggy skater boy hair out of his already strained eye. Another real bummer. We both loved his long hair. He was so worried; worried about being made fun of, about looking stupid, and about the notion of being blind if he didn't follow doctor's orders. As we drove away from Fantastic Sam's I tried to be positive.
"You know, I saw a story on TV about a little boy who was born with no legs, but now he runs races with special prosthetic legs. He had such a great attitude about it too. At least it's just your eye and it's going to get a lot better!"
(Don't you love it when people use guilt as a motivational tool?) Just then, I turned a corner and came to a stop as a blind man stepped out in front of our car to cross the street. No joke. With dark glasses and walking stick extended, he gracefully guided himself to the other side. Jackson's jaw dropped.
"Mom! No way! That was not a coincidence. Heavenly Father just did that for me!"
I was just as surprised by my son's immediate ability to point out the hand of God in his life as I was to see the blind man crossing the street at such an opportune moment. Unreal.
After we arrived home, Jackson was tired from the long morning at the doctor's. He nestled into the leather sofa and turned on his favorite cartoon, "Arthur." The title of this particular episode? "Arthur's Eyes." The cartoon started out blurry, giving the viewer a sense of how Arthur saw the world before he learned he needed glasses. He was clumsy, had a hard time with his friends and in his class room -- all of the same things my son has been dealing with at school. Thirty seconds into the show, Jackson slowly turned his head to me and said, "Ok. This is weird. Now I know Heavenly Father is REALLY doing this for me!"
For the rest of the day, I could not shake from my mind, the way in which God enabled my son to see spiritual truths through physical blindness.
"And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth.
And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?
Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God may be manifest in him." John 9:1-3