Eyes? Seems like an odd thing to bring up for discussion. Sort of mundane. Sort of random. But like many things in life, we often take them for granted until there’s a problem. And then it becomes a big issue indeed.
I’ve had poor eyesight for a long, long time. Started with the glasses at about 8 years old. Got so bad by high school that my lenses had to be special ordered through NASA because only they could produce something that thick. (That’s a joke, of course, but these were the days before all the “compressed lenses” technology available today).
Eventually I graduated to contact lenses which helped, but I still have real issues with my eyesight. In a world where most people are shooting for 20/20 vision, mine currently runs at 20/1075 in the right eye and 20/750 in the left. Hard to correct that kind of thing. But that’s not even the real problem.
About a year ago I was diagnosed with Myopic Degeneration. It’s similar to the Macular Degeneration found in older folks, but instead of being caused by age, it’s cause by the extreme myopia in my right eye. The eye is stretched so badly that it causes the area on the retina called the macula to become thin, and abnormal blood vessels to form and begin leaking. This distorts the central vision and causes warped images and eventually blindness. Just to give you an idea, when I look at an Amsler Grid (given to check this sort of thing) instead of straight lines, I see something like this with my right eye:
I was given an injection in that right eye, which has stopped the progression for now, and even given some improvement. But then last month I had another issue. The same root problem, the extreme myopia and oblong shape of my eye, had caused the retina to begin detaching. This causes shadows/blind spots around the edge of my vision. I had laser surgery to try and fix that problem, but I still have that shadow in the corner of my eye.
All the headaches (literally) associate with this over the years has caused me to think about eyes and eyesight maybe more than most. It’s convinced me that the “thorn” Paul speaks of in 2 Corinthians 12 may have been some sort of eye ailment. I think evidence of this is given in Galatians where the Apostle says that it was a “bodily ailment” that first brought him to those churches. He says that in love “if possible you would have gouged out your eyes and given them to me.” (Galatians 4:15). He even ends that letter by writing in his own hand (instead of his usual scribal assistant) as evidenced by the “large letters” he uses.
All of that leads me, again, to think that maybe it was this eye ailment that proved such a thorn in the side of the apostle. I know it’s been one in mine for years, and has increasingly become so.
We take things like our eyesight for granted sometimes. It’s only when something so commonplace is taken away or hindered that we begin to appreciate it. So while eyes may seem a random and mundane subject to blog about, I for one thank God for the sight I do have. My hope is that this will encourage you to be more thankful for the seemingly mundane things in your own life.