A Strange Discussion

John and I had the most thought-provoking discussion tonight.  A Facebook friend posted on his wall that he was very angry.  A couple of strangers stopped him on the street and told him they would pray that his sight would be restored.

I understood right away, on a visceral level, why this made him angry.  John did not.  As John and I talked about it, I said that I have a lot of things I would rather that people pray about for me than regaining my sight.

I have learned so much since my eyesight began to deteriorate.  I am more happy and peaceful now than I have ever been in my life.  My spiritual life is deep and powerful.  I am more loving and caring and less judgmental toward everyone.  My journey to low vision has been filled with many, many blessings. I don’t know if any path, other than low vision, could have brought me to this place.

So, the question is, do I want people to pray that my sight will be restored?  My initial answer is “no.”  John can not believe it.  He reminded me that there are many people praying for me.  I am very grateful for their prayers.  But, I guess I never thought about what they are praying for.  Are they praying that my sight will get better?  I actually hope not.  I don’t know that I want anyone to pray for that.  I hope that they are praying that I have the strength to face whatever my future holds.  I hope they are praying that I see the beauty in the world, with whatever vision I have left and with my heart.  I hope they are praying that I become the best, most loving person I can possibly be.

As our conversation went on, John asked if I am hoping that technology improves so that I can regain perfect vision.  I have to say, I don’t know.  Even I am surprised by this answer.  I have to think long and hard about why I would not jump for joy if offered this opportunity.  And maybe I would, if the chance was right in front of me. But maybe I wouldn’t.  I am not saying that I want my eyesight to get worse, or that I am going to stop the treatments that keep it stable, but I don’t long for my vision to improve.

Our conversation made me think of a Buddhist story.

An old farmer had worked his crops for many years. One day his horse ran away. His neighbors came to visit. “Such bad luck,” they said sympathetically.

“We shall see,” the farmer replied. The next morning the horse returned, bringing with it three other wild horses. “Such good luck,” the neighbors exclaimed.

“We shall see,” replied the old man. The following day, his son tried to ride one of the untamed horses, was thrown, and broke his leg. The neighbors again came to offer their sympathy on his bad luck. “We shall see,” answered the farmer. The next day, military officials came to the village to draft young men into the army. Seeing that the son’s leg was broken, they passed him by. The neighbors congratulated the farmer on his good luck. “We shall see,” said the farmer.

So many good things have come from my vision deterioration that I can not see it as a bad thing.  In my mind, I equate those who would pray that my sight be restored with the foolish neighbors who judged a situation as good luck or bad luck based on one day’s occurrences.  Unless someone can see my whole life’s path, how could he possibly know whether I will live a better life if I am fully sighted or if I have low vision?

I have to think about this whole subject a lot more before I can articulate my deepest feelings and thoughts about it.  I do know that I would not give up the lessons I have learned from this journey, or the blessings that have been poured out on me, for anything.  I hope that I will continue to grow and learn, no matter what happens to my eyesight.  If I am going to pray for anything for myself, it will be to gain wisdom, not eyesight.



8 thoughts on “A Strange Discussion

  1. I’m totally blind, never had sight at all. I had that happen to me once when I was with my mother at a fred meyer. This little old man came up to me, told me how sorry he felt for me, and said that my God would heal me. not understanding what he said, I said, well I appreciate your concern. but when my mother told me what he really said, well then I got a little discusted. If I’d been smarter, I would have said, there’s a lot more important things out there then what you see with your eyes.

    I pray for your well-being, and you can be the best that what you can be.

    • Hi David. Thank you so much for writing, and for your prayers for my well-being. I agree that eyesight is only the smallest part of true vision. I am working on seeing with my heart and I am finding so much beauty in the world. Peace, Belinda

  2. Yes! Thank you for this post. Right on, keep on keepin on. Sometimes I suspect people think I’m quite mad for holding a similar view; I am congenitally blind and frankly don’t have any reason to wish for it to be otherwise. So, thanks again.

    • Thank you for your comment, Buddy. It is reassuring to know that I am not alone in my thoughts regarding acceptance of low vision. I am glad you found my blog and I hope you visit again.

  3. Thank you Belinda, for reminding me of “the long view.” What do we know? What a sweet surrender, when we can pray, “God, hold me – or another – in your loving embrace, and bring them to whatever perfect fulfillment you have designed for them.”

    • Thanks for your nice comment, Sheri. I have been thinking about this question for a few days – and again today when the gospel at Mass was about the blind seeing. Thank you for seeing my prayer as faith-filled instead of thinking I am fearful of regaining my sight or that I just don’t have enough hope or faith to believe that a miracle could happen. In my mind, a miracle has already happened in that I am able to find so much joy in life.

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