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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Vision (08/03/06)

TITLE: Blind Faith
By T. F. Chezum


“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.

They embraced.

“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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This article has been read 974 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ross08/12/06
A beautiful story. I would have liked a more definite ending -- it left me wondering. The dialogue is great -- perfectly written to capture the reader and place us right there on the scene. Well done! :)
terri tiffany08/14/06
Great job! I loved the ending even though I was hoping she would get better but your way was the better way. I was impressed with the show not tell. Good writing.
Lynda Lee Schab 08/14/06
So did you research this condition? All those long, doctor-ish words in the beginning. I'll take your word for it LOL. I liked how you showed the faith of a child, even when the adult is wavering. Aside from a couple of typos, it was a nice story. Well done.
Trina Courtenay08/14/06
A beautiful story with a sad but oh so true ending. Great work on the topic!
Caitlynn Lowe08/14/06
A sad ending, but an encouraging read nonetheless.
Allison Egley 08/14/06
A beautiful story. I too was hoping the ending would be different, but agree that this ending is probably the better of the two.
Shari Armstrong 08/14/06
A touching story - good characters.
Virginia Gorg08/14/06
Not the ending I expected, but so much more powerful this way. Nicely done - good flow.
Jan Ackerson 08/14/06
I like this a lot, and I'm glad you didn't give it the pat ending...very realistically portrayed struggles. Good job!
Brenda Craig08/14/06
Wonderful, touching story, with great dialog. Excellent job. The mother struggled with her heart vision while the daughter struggled with her actual vision. Great interplay between the two aspects of vision. Blessings!
Joanne Malley08/14/06
Nicely done. I appreciated the fact that the outcome of the girl's situation was not perfectly tied up in the end. Life often throws us curve balls and it was very realistic. :)
Joanne Sher 08/15/06
Oh man - this touched me in a way you likely can't even imagine! The feelings and reactions and all that are SO realistic and true, and this truly ministered to me. Life is so like this sometimes, but with the Lord there, we can see even without sight! Thanks for helping me see in a new way that I am not alone. :)
Beth Muehlhausen08/15/06
This is sad but very realistic. It hit me hard since I have a friend (now in her 30's) who had a similar experience and is totally blind...but is a public school teacher and claims this same vision for her life: "It’ll be okay. I don’t need my vision to appreciate God’s glory.” Bravo. Well-told!

Cheryl Harrison08/15/06
So...did you do a lot of research or did you make up those big doctor words? :o)

Good writing. Very good dialogue. Kept my attention all the way through. Sure would like to know what happens next.

God Bless.
Jen Davis08/16/06
This is a great story that is very well written and an example of wonderful dialogue. Even though this story did not have a "happy" ending, it did have a satisfying ending. I could have enjoyed either outcome as long as it was handled in a realistic way. Another possible ending that I would have enjoyed is having Lizzy stop the doctor just before he shined the light into her eyes and have Lizzy turn to her mom and tell her that either way "It'll be okay..."