Saturday, November 5, 2016

Celebrating A New Vision

By Linda Grupp Boutin

     My dog, Star, turns 11 years old on her birthday in January. She has begun showing some signs of age. When I look into her eyes, I can see cataracts clouding her vision. When she can't see me calling her, sometimes she cannot hear me anymore. Worst of all sometimes she seems to have small seizures losing her balance and occasionally falling. The one sense she can rely on is her sense of smell. She recognizes who I have visited when I return home by the scent I carry home from hugs I received.

     When I think about newborn puppies, their senses are limited at first too. Strongest is their sense of smell which helps them find their mother and her milk supply. Their eyes are sealed shut for a few days up to about 10 days. Their ears do not hear well at first either. It feels like it is all part of a plan to shield them from sensory overload when they are first born and vulnerable to so many things. Their senses coupled with their inability to walk protects them from hazards they aren't ready to face.

     I believe that God controls the plan and set it up intentionally to protect both young and older animals from hazards in our world. I have seen this happen with people too, both young babies and people as they age. Parents protect their offspring while the little ones learn to navigate in our world. Our healthcare providers attempt to keep the worst of the ravages of aging from preventing us from living a full life. They have developed hearing aids, glasses, canes and walkers and a great variety of aids to help us manage the physical problems that happen with aging.

     My eye doctors have told me for many years that cataracts had been developing in my eyes. Both the ophthalmologist and optician had noted my loss of vision. I asked them when I should have cataract surgery to correct the situation. They simply told me that I would know when the time had come. For years I functioned fine seeing, driving, and reading despite the cataracts. Then this spring I knew the time had come. I felt like I was living in a continual fog bank. Things that had always been easy became increasingly difficult. Writing a check for the correct amount for a bill became close to an impossibility. I called the ophthalmologist's office and they set up a date for my first cataract removal in early May. As my date for surgery approached, I became more and more afraid of what might happen to my sight if anything went wrong.

     The hardest part of the surgery turned out to be the nurse setting the intravenous line in my arm for medications. The surgery itself was a snap and over very quickly. For the rest of the day until the next morning, my eye was bandaged with a very bulky covering to protect it from me scratching it in my sleep. I couldn't wait until we returned to the office the next morning. Gary sat with me while the nurse removed the bandaging layer by layer. When  she removed the final eye cup, I strained to see if my vision had changed (or been lost altogether!). Amazingly the fog I had lived in had completely lifted from the surgical eye.
Enjoying a lovely Southern California evening
     The nurse watched amused as I discovered the changed and improved vision I now enjoyed. She gave me a quick eye exam and found my far vision had improved to 20/20. Gary chuckled watching me walking around the room examining everything with my new vision while we waited for the surgeon to come in. I wonder how many physicians have the pleasure Dr. Hamilton had with how excited I was from the results of my surgery. And it all happened overnight! He explained to me that the lens they had replaced my clouded lens with contained the prescription for my glasses which is why my vision had improved so much.

     I celebrated for over a week as I saw everything with a new clarity I had not enjoyed for many years. At church, our pastor had explained how God's vision was so much more expansive than ours. He sees the best in us even when we carry guilt around with us like a treasure. The Lord sees beyond our limitations to His limitless way of  seeing our potential. He places challenges in our path to mold our characters to a pleasing way that fulfills His Plans for us. My new vision gave me just the smallest of insights into how much more God sees in us than we ever see for ourselves. Now my challenge is to take this new sight, to trust and follow Him more closesly to fulfill His Plan for my life. I trusted the ophthalmologist with my vision and the results were fabulous. How much more when I put my trust in Our Creator will He open my eyes to His wonders?
Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.


  1. Seeing is believing. What I see in you is a great story-teller and a wonderful friend. What we don't see, we know by faith, that God sees all and knows the plans. Keep telling us stories my friend.

  2. Seeing is believing. What I see in you is a great story-teller and a wonderful friend. What we don't see, we know by faith, that God sees all and knows the plans. Keep telling us stories my friend.