On the Importance of Seeing

by Christine Sine

by Jeannie Kendall

About eight months ago I was diagnosed with an eye disease called glaucoma. It came as a bit of a surprise, as it only came to light when I had the extra £10 scan after a routine eye check (I am in the UK). I am now a huge advocate for that extra scan and think it should be an automatic part of all tests. I had no idea that I had in fact lost a small part of my peripheral vision in one eye – though it did explain my bumping into things which I had put down to clumsiness! 

Now in my case it is easily treatable with eye drops and seems to be remaining stable. I don’t really notice anything apart from needing a bit more light than I used to. For most glaucoma sufferers, prompt and regular treatment will allow them to retain sight. For a few, and for those with other eye conditions, that is not always the case and sight can be gradually, or even quickly, lost. Our grandson a while ago became fascinated by the story of Louis Braille, who lost his sight after an accident in his father’s workshop and of course went on to develop braille, making something wonderful which has enhanced the lives of many, from the devastating tragedy. 

What it has done is put me into contact with a community of people with this and other eye conditions, and to glean a little of the fears and difficulties they encounter. Many of them are genuinely inspirational in maintaining a positive attitude even amidst sometimes huge challenges. I admire them immensely. On this World Sight Day, it is appropriate to pray for all those who cannot take sight for granted, or who face the prospect of blindness, or for whom that is already a reality, as well as for all those who are working medically or in research, including those who work to treat eye diseases, and prevent blindness, in countries without our health care systems.

Last Sunday in church we sang a chorus which starts ‘open the eyes of my heart, Lord’. The bible has quite a lot to say about sight. Jesus of course healed those who were physically blind – such as the man whose story is told in John 9, where Jesus is keen to correct the common assumption that his blindness was caused by sin. However the bible says even more about a different way of seeing for those who believe – we ‘walk by faith, not by sight’ (2 Cor 5:7) There is a whole other reality around us which we need special eyes to see, as the young companion of Elisha found in 2 Kings 6. Perhaps on this World Sight Day, as well as appreciating our physical sight, we can be open to other things God might teach us to see. One of the most precious of those truths, I believe, is how we, and others around us are seen by God: always through the eyes of Jesus, who holds us in the most loving of gazes.

Join Christine Sine on October 14 or watch the recording later. October and November, the season between Canadian Thanksgiving and American Thanksgiving, is gratitude season on Godspacelight. Christine Sine will encourage you to enter into the practice of gratitude in this  interactive retreat that will help us enter this season of gratitude with joy and delight in our hearts.

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