Poverty lives right down the road. She is my friend. She works without end to care for her family. She is younger than me, but seems much older. She has lived far more life than I can imagine. She smiles and laughs, but in her eyes I see pain. At 32 years old, her vision is blurry. She has cataracts. Through the haze she labors on in hopes of one day earning enough to pay for her surgery.
I add it up. At the rate she is going it will take her more than 3 years to earn enough for the mere $200 it costs for a life-changing surgery. I think. I pray. $200 is really nothing to me. By US standards we are poor, 5 children on a meager salary, but over here we are the extremely wealthy. The uber-rich. But, it is always an interesting dance, giving money. We want to be careful not to enable others, make them dependent. In this case, we decide to go ahead.
I gather friends to join me in paying and praying for the surgery, not because I couldn’t do it myself, but because there is joy in joining together for a common cause. Joy in community.
The night of the surgery finally arrives. Even though she does not share our faith, we join together and pray over her. We tell her of Jesus healing the blind man, and how he can heal soul-blindness. One friend slips cards with Bible verses into her hands. She grips the cards as we make our way to the doctor. We wait. She is visibly shaking, so we pray. Her eyes fill with tears as she thanks me for being such a good friend. My eyes fill with tears thinking of all the pain she has endured in her life, and how she is blind in more ways than one.
Finally at midnight, she emerges with bandages and in pain. We drive home in darkness and silence.
Over the next few weeks, we shower her with meals and help. Recovery is slow and painful.
Weeks pass. One day I hear her at the front door. She tells me that she can see!! The bandages are gone, the stitches are out. Her eye is healed!!
I smile at her through tears. Tears of joy at the success of the surgery, and tears of hope, that one day she might really see.
By Joy Forney, Grace Full MamaLeave a Comment