I had my yearly appointment at the eye doctor today. That is, I had my yearly counseling session with our earnest young doctor who loves Jesus, with a small measure of eye exam thrown in for good measure. But that's how it works. It's pretty much the same when Beve has his exam too. I don't remember how he discovered that we're followers of Christ, though we aren't shy about it. In fact, just the other day at school, a person works with only via telephone about certain online classes asked if Beve belongs to the same church he did, because he couldn't imagine anyone would be as kind and respectful, etc and NOT be like him. Beve told him that, no, he isn't a Mormon. He did tell him, however, that he's a follower of Jesus. Just that. Not to get into some kind of debate (that would be more my style than Beve's!), but just to let him know.
Anyway, yesterday J had seen the eye doctor, so Dr. K commented that our son is very open about what's going on in his life. Yep, I told him, that's J for you, especially these days. J really impressed the doctor with his determination to work toward his own healing. "It's been a long journey," I said. "And many sleepless nights." I think we have the sleepless nights on one hand and our strong faith on the other and we lift them both to God at the same time, knowing that He understands exactly how we can feel both at once. Then the doctor told me that he's in something of the same situation right now.
His 11-year-old son had something go wrong with the optic nerve in his right eye a few years ago, rendering him just about blind in that eye. ("Ironic, huh?" he asked.) And just two weeks ago, the same thing happened in his left eye. They've been down in Seattle at Children's Hospital, and no one can quite figure it out but at the moment there seems to be no human solution. So unless God heals him, he will be blind.
I sat in that chair with the funny instrument in front of my face listening to him talk and felt overwhelmed by the need to comfort. To speak words not of platitude but of understanding to this father. And it was a long time before he actually moved that instrument up to my eyes (and discovered that my eyes are actually BETTER than they were a year ago!). Instead he talked for a long time. And I listened. And then I told him a few things I felt God put on my heart. How seeing our children suffer is the worst suffering there is in the world, but how God intends to use even that to produce more of His character within us. And that God loves their son and cares about his eye sight. I know that. But I don't know whether God will heal him. Maybe He will. But maybe He wants to use him to extend His Kingdom in a different way than they expect.
He said that all day long, everywhere they go, people say, "Keep positive," and "Keep your chin up." But that merely makes them feel worse. Hearing the truth from me was refreshing. It was like a weight lifted from him for a moment, he said. Like my appointment was today just because he needed to hear those words.
I love that. It isn't very often that we hear right in the moment that we've been used by God so directly. That our words were actually HIS words. I don't take it for granted. I don't pretend for a moment that they really came out of my pea-sized brain. No way, no how. They were born in fire, washed in blood and spoken by the Spirit. I just got to be the vehicle today. And I'm thankful.
Such moments make me hungry for more. You know?
I promised to pray for this doctor and his son. And, as I said yesterday, I don't take that lightly either.