Last week, I headed for the Maranatha Christian Writer’s Conference. I wasn’t nervous about the trip, but I was insecure about my choice to go and whether I would learn enough and make enough connections to make the trip worthwhile. Tired, discouraged, and stressed from summer tensions, I prayed that God would use this trip to refresh my soul and replenish my sagging spirit. [Read more…]
What I Saw Today
Every day is a new day of discovery! God’s world, both physical and spiritual, is filled with wonder. Come explore God’s world with me as I see it for the first time.
Miracles reach beyond the laws of nature, as we understand them, to do what man cannot accomplish on his own.
Today was my six-month check up with my ophthalmologist. I think she likes to see me. On a routine basis, she sees many patients with serious eye conditions, some that cannot be fixed. I, on the other hand, have experienced improved vision, and everyone, including doctors, likes happy endings. I’m also one of her ornery patients. Instead of whining that I can’t see the chart, I get excited when I see one letter on the 20/80 line.
“I have one patient who got upset at me because I could only bring his vision up to 20/25 after cataract surgery,” she confided to me once.
Today she ticked off her discoveries like checking off a shopping list. “Your pressure is good, your corneas are – a little thick at the top but no cysts or abscesses – I just can’t find anything bad today.” For a patient who has a whole bucketful of eye issues, that’s saying a lot.
While she was examining my eyes, she exclaimed once again how easy it was to see through my pupil opening. Before my eye surgery two years ago, damage from childhood surgeries had tightened my pupil into a tiny pinprick. The specialist who repaired my torn retina made the on the spot decision to widen my pupil and clean out debris left from an incomplete cataract removal. Widening the pupil allowed more light to enter my eye. It also had the advantage of allowing my ophthalmologist to get a better look at the back of my eye, something that even heavy doses of dilation drops wouldn’t allow her to do.
Dr Brody swiveled her chair toward my chart on her desk. “It’s such a miracle,” she murmured.
“Yes it is!” I agreed.
Was it a miracle?
It was one of the most special nights of my entire life. Twenty women gathered in an alcove off our church gym to pray for me as I faced surgery to repair my torn retina the next day. Women who never prayed aloud in public settings spoke, voicing their love and concern for me. I’ve never felt so loved and championed by a group of people. I went home, feeling like no matter what happened the next day, their presence, compassion, and faith could carry me through the next segment of my life.
The spell was broken when the organizer of the prayer meeting prayed. “Lord, we ask that You give Karen better vision than she’s ever had before.” Whoa, wait a minute. That’s not happening. I mean, I believe in a powerful God, but sweetheart, you don’t know my eye history. I’ve got eight things wrong with my eyes, I’ve had this eye condition since I was born, and I’ve always sensed that my vision would eventually get worse, not better. Jesus healed blind people because He needed to give evidence to His existence as God’s Son. That kind of miracle doesn’t happen today. It’s just not the way God has wired our bodies. Nor is it the way He operates.
Or is it?
Many of you already know my story. I was so wrong. The doctor took the opportunity to rectify some issues and I did come out of surgery with better vision than I’ve ever had before. God did what I thought was logistically impossible and out of synch with His operational mannual.
The Apostle Thomas and I belong in the same class.
I realized this important truth – there is just some brokenness in life I cannot fix.
Like my clothes dryer.
It was an ordinary day like any other day. After stashing load three into the clothes dryer, I headed to the bedroom to fold and put away the other two loads that had dried as normal as a normal dryer will dry. Twenty minutes later, I opened the dryer door to check the progress of my third load. Everything was soggy cold. Maybe it hadn’t been twenty minutes.
More time elapsed, and the drum of my clothes dryer remained as cold and humid as the inside of my refrigerator. My sluggish brain accepted the truth. After 18 ½ years of trouble-free drying, the heating element of my clothes dryer died a sudden death. Within one day, Jack and I discussed our options, called the repair man, discussed the matter some more, called the repairman a second time, and handed over the credit card for the purchase of a new washer and dryer set. It was almost too easy.
I never stopped to consider that I ought to be able to fix the dryer myself.
The options were clear – pay someone to fix it or move on to a new set.
It was a week of brokenness. The day before, word circulated around our small community that we were under a boil order. Don’t drink the water. Boil all water you plan to use for cooking. Put bleach in your rinse dishwater. I didn’t like the extra work, but like everyone else, I took the necessary steps to keep my household safe.
I never once berated myself that I couldn’t fix the water situation.
I was content to do what I could until others responsible for the fixing took care of the problem.
As I mourned several relationship snags that week, I had to chuckle at myself. If I’m so content to let others fix my dryer and household water, why do I expect myself to be able to fix the brokenness of my relationships on my own? [Read more…]