“The diminished vision is a result of papilledema.” Dr. Hudson gestured toward a large eye diagram on his wall. “The optic nerves are swelling creating pressure, this could eventually cause profound blindness.”
Lizzy sat in silent prayer, grasping her mother’s hand. “So all I’ll ever see is grey,” her voice trembled; a tear traced the contour of her cheek.
Mrs. Carson embraced her daughter. “Is there anything…” She could no longer contain her emotions.
“There is a procedure that may help, but we don’t know if the damage is permanent.” He scribbled a note on her chart. “An optic nerve sheath fenestration has reversed some of the effects in other acute cases such as yours. We make a small incision in the sheath surrounding the nerve.” He pointed to the specific area on the illustration. “This should release the pressure caused by the cerebrospinal fluid, but there are no guarantees.”
Lizzy sat in the family room, her mind awash with confusion and fear.
“Do you want anything?” Her mom stood near the kitchen.
“I want to be left alone.” She slumped across the couch, clutching a pillow to her chest. “I want to be normal.” She heaved a loud sigh. “Lord, why are you allowing this. What do you want from…”
“You’re praying? It seems like all you do is pray.”
“It’s what you taught me, Mom.” Her words dripped with sorrow. “Always trust God.”
“I can’t. Not anymore.” Lizzy’s mom put her hands to her head, her auburn curls intertwined with her fingers.
“We went to church all the time,” the young girl said. “You can’t just turn your back…”
“God turned his back on me,” she interrupted her child. “First He took your father, now your eyes.” Mrs. Carson turned and headed into the kitchen. “No more, I can’t take it.”
“Mom.” Lizzy wept. “Mommy, please.” She turned her eyes upward. “Lord, I want to believe, but what good can possibly come of this?”
She pulled herself up and felt her way toward the kitchen. She had walked this path thousands of times, but now it felt foreign and frightening. She continued along the wall, uncertain if she was nearing the doorway.
Her foot bumped something; she stumbled and fell.
She groped for what had tripped her. The shape seemed familiar, a sculpture she had painted as a child. Her fingers caressed the form; it felt gritty, covered in dust. She stood herself up, cradling the figure, and found her way to the kitchen.
“Mom, remember this?”
“What are you doing in here?” Her mother gasped. “You could’ve hurt yourself.”
Lizzy held out the statuette. “You helped me make this in Sunday School, when I was little.”
“I’d forgotten about that.” She took the artwork in her hands. “You won a prize, you were so proud. So was I”
“Jesus and the blind man. It’s one of my favorite stories,” Lizzy said. “I remember the inscription on the bottom, from John chapter nine.”
Mrs. Carson wiped the dirt from its base and read, “But that the works of God should be made manifest in him.”
Lizzy waved her arm wanting to locate her mother. “I need you to be here for me.”
“It’s just so hard, watching you…” Her mom choked up.
“Remember what you used to say when I was scared or upset?” Lizzy murmured. “Let not…”
“…your heart be troubled,” they said in unison.
“Pray with me, Mom. Please.”
Dr. Hudson dimmed the lights. “There were no complications during the procedure.” He removed the gauze one layer at a time. “Let’s see how we’re doing. Open your eyes slowly.”
Lizzy’s eyelids fluttered open. Her mom squeezed her hand.
“Is there any pain?” the doctor queried.
The girl shook her head. “No, but everything’s dark.”
“The lights are dimmed. Bright light might shock your eyes.” He grabbed a penlight from his pocket. “Now tell me when you see the light.”
He held the light to the side of the girls face and shined it onto her neck. He jiggled it up and down as he moved around to her face. His expression turned disconcerted as the light shined on Lizzy’s cheek.
Tears ran down Mrs. Carson’s face and speckled their hands.
Lizzy placed a hand on her mom’s cheek. “Why are you crying, Mom?” Her face twisted in stunned realization. “It’ll be okay. I don’t need my vision to appreciate God’s glory.”
John 9: 3
John 14: 1
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