I have to admit I am not a very brave person. And when it comes to my eyes, I just want to turn and run. But I have recently become aware that colours are not too bright, my binoculars are incapable of focus, and headlights are stars of dazzling light.
I had to admit it. It was time to have my cataracts removed.
“You’ll be fine,” they said.
“It’s a simple procedure,” they said.
But it’s my eyes. And, apart from being an author and a prolific reader, I dislike the thought of someone messing around with them.
“It’s quick. You won’t feel a thing.” Hmm. I’ve heard that one before. And maybe I won’t feel anything but surely, with my eyes open, I’ll see stuff coming my way?
I put it off as long as I could. But then a couple of overseas trips in the future and a stay on a game reserve when even giraffes and elephants were just a blur through my binoculars made me realise.
It is time.
So I prayed for courage. And went to see the specialist. Who explained everything and agreed with me that it was indeed time.
Right eye first, then the left eye the following week.
On Wednesday a friend drove me to the hospital where I was to have the procedure done and then left me to fill in forms and fetch medication.
One of the bravest things I have ever done was walk through those doors without turning and changing my mind. But it was as if Someone, whom I knew well, was holding my hand and encouraging me to go forward.
So I did. And Someone stayed with me every moment of the time I was there, giving me His peace as only He can give. I think I even had a little sleep (at 09h00 in the morning) before the procedure happened.
The staff were wonderful. The anaesthetic administered took me out of myself so I could follow orders but was not aware of anything happening.
The procedure was over in an indeterminate period of time, and I was presented with a fresh cheese and tomato sandwich and the most delicious cup of institution coffee I have ever had. I had followed the command “Thou shalt not eat or drink beforehand,” and so I was both hungry and thirsty and devoured the light meal with great relish.
Did it take courage? Yes.
Was it my courage? Oh, no. The courage I was able to tap into was not mine, but the courage of God, given to those who ask when it was needed. But there was not just courage, there was peace; and healing; and a quiet joy that I am halfway through the journey.
Will it take courage next week? I suspect it will. But I know, when I need it, it will be there for the asking.
And the sky is blue, and the grass is green and I can read the titles of the books on my bookshelf without glasses.
And I am sure that elephant will have wrinkles in its skin when I next look at it through my binoculars!
Thank you, Lord, for your presence and your courage. It makes all the difference in the world.