I have a problem: I need new glasses. My present trifocals are not only worn out, with the scratches and smudges that come with use, but my vision has worsened.
Ordinarily a person would have the necessary testing and get new glasses. But in my case, I’m reluctant to bother. The testing with the ophthalmologist will be quite extensive and then I will need new lenses and frames.
I am hesitant to move forward. As many of you reading this know, I am not expected to live much longer—probably not more than two months according to the doctors. I have a disease known as cardiac transplant vasculopathy, and my coronary arteries are gradually closing. There is no cure. I am becoming weaker as the days pass.
You can see my dilemma. Why bother?
I have decided to go ahead with the testing next week, however, for three reasons. One, no one but God knows for sure how long I will live. I just don’t feel as though I’ll be gone from this earth by October 5th. Two, sight is such an important sense for me, as it is for us all, that even if my remaining time on earth is brief, my quality of life will be enhanced greatly by good vision. Three, I feel as though my ministry is not yet complete, and I need better eyesight to do the things awaiting me. While I have no grandiose thoughts of future ministry accomplishments, I do hope to serve God in further ways through The Benediction Project with all of my heart, soul, mind and strength until he calls me home. Good eyesight will be a major asset.
Since I signed into hospice care on April 5, I have benefited considerably from the service. The emphasis on palliative care (seeking relief from pain and discomfort rather than a cure) and the other guidelines are well thought-out, and, while not specifically Christian-oriented, are compatible with the views of biblically-grounded Christians. I have found the nurses and other specialists who visit my home to be knowledgeable, practical, and compassionate. They are respectful of the beliefs and wishes of Judy and me, and are easy to work with.
Thank you for reading this blog. You are becoming an important constituency in my life even though there are many of you I have never met. Feel free to respond to my essays or interact with another blogger. And thank you, once more, for your many prayers and expressions of concern. Your prayers are having a significant effect on my morale, and thus on my overall well-being.
Judy and I recently observed our 40th wedding anniversary. There were times over the past year that I wondered if I’d be alive on July 22nd to celebrate the day. God was pleased, however, to grant us our wish. We are finding that, even in the midst of suffering and uncertainty, our life together becomes sweeter as we cling to God and each other in Christian hope. Here is our benediction for you this month:
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:13).