Back in the olden days when Beve and I spent a couple of months in India, he got sick. I might have mentioned this before, but the dysentery many westerners (including both of us) suffer in such places became something much worse for Beve. In fact, what developed from that bout of dysentery was Reiter's Syndrome, an autoimmune disease with no known cure. While we were in India, Beve got so sick, his knees swelled to the size of basketballs, his ankles the size of softballs, and by the time we flew 'home' to Holland, where we were living at the time, he couldn't bend his legs to sit very well in airplane seats. Even before this malady, Beve had broken an airplane seat, trying to fit, so you can imagine the difficulty when only his hips bent for that long trip across the eastern hemisphere.
It took about a year before Beve finally had Reiter's syndrome completely diagnosed, and when he did, it was because he got iritis. I don't know if any of my readers have had iritis (I haven't), but let me tell you from my front row vantage point: it can fell a legal giant. Iritis's extreme sensitivity to light and accompanying pain is one of the few ailments that makes Beve miss school. And it takes weeks to recover, partly because eye doctors (all doctors?) have a long protocol for treating it. Drops in the eye every hour, visits to the doctor ever other day, but finally when this treatment doesn't work, the needle comes out. For the squeamish among you, you might want to stop reading now, because the ultimate treatment for each bout of iritis (at least Reiter's Syndrome-associated) is an anti-inflammatory injected directly into the eye. And it hurts just about as much as you can imagine. I remember sitting in a waiting room one snowy Sunday many years ago listening to Beve say, "Ouch, ouch, ouch," as the doctor gave him the shot. It made me more than a little nauseated, and I don't even mind needles.
That was the last time Beve had iritis. About 14 years ago. I should say, the last time until yesterday, when what he thought was a sinus infection revealed itself as iritis when he walked out of his school into the sunshine. Fortunately, he was on his way to take his father to an eye specialist, for a re-check appointment. Grampie's retelling of the story to me on the phone this morning put it this way,"Dr. Subong looked over and saw something wrong with Beve's left eye, so he fixed him right up." Actually, Beve asked if he could be seen, and the doctor squeezed him in. Having had a close personal relationship with Dr. Subong (ie, a weekly appt with Grampie) since November definitely made a difference.
Dr. Subong only confirmed what Beve already knew, and was about to begin the typical regime of drops, when Beve told him to cut to the chase. "Just give me the injection." Again, that personal relationship helped. Beve said it was the easiest, least painful injection he's ever had. And he should know, unfortunately. And today, just 36 hours in (along with hourly, ubiquitous drops, of course) Beve's already feeling better. So the good news/bad news of that injection worked perfectly. He didn't even have to miss a day of work, which makes him extremely happy. All around, it turned out well...well, as well as an injection in the old eye-ball can ever turn out.
How's that for a visual for your day? All things considered, I'd rather have that board in my eye. But I have a funny feeling that isn't what Jesus was talking about.
And He certainly knows I have plenty of the kinds of boards He actually meant. Those boards of a critical spirit, of anger and envy. You know, the boards that--built up high enough--create walls between me and other people. I'm very aware of these boards I allow to sit between others and me, especially while I'm busy pointing out the tiny specks that couldn't create a wall if there were 10,000 of them piled up. Specks just don't get in the way, don't hurt anyone but the owner of them. Boards can hurt everyone in their path.
Beve's eye will be fine soon enough. The injection did its job. Now for the job in front of me of letting the Holy Spirit remove those boards from my eyes. After this weekend, even a weekend I loved, I think there's plenty of work for Him to do in me.
So, to my family: where I was critical, thoughtless, forgive me. For the words I said that I shouldn't have, and those I should have said that were left unspoken, please forgive me for my sins. I know who I am, know who I'm not. Thank you for your patience...and for your reminders that I must become more His. Daily.