Not quite that far back a young doctor decided to try contact lenses on my nanophthalmic (one 15 and the other 16 mm), hyperopic/aphakic (scrip +17.25), steep-cornea-ed, corrugated, football-shaped eyeballs. Everyone told him he was crazy, that it was impossible. Somehow, amid all the discouraging words, he managed to make it work. For the first time in my life I could see more than the fish-eyed tunnel in front of me.
These were the original hard contact lenses. He had sat me down and told me that the only way I could possibly wear them in my “special” eyes was to want to wear them. I did not realize till much later how wise he had been. They were incredibly uncomfortable, especially on my deformed eyeballs, but I saw so much more that I knew I would never give them up, regardless the pain.
Seven years later rigid gas-permeable lenses became available through overseas channels. They were a tiny bit more comfortable, but more important, they kept my eyes healthier. I wore those for thirty-five years. Finally a type of soft lens has been developed that I can actually wear with no ill-effects. Not only that, but they cause no strange visual effects either—no starbursts, no fish-eyes, no distortions at all. It seems ironic that they have come now when my vision is failing and when only one eye can tolerate wearing one, but I am not complaining.
I have had to learn different methods of insertion, removal, and overnight care. This thing is so much more comfortable that sometimes I am not certain it is in. The many surgeries I have had have changed me from hyperopic to myopic, and my vision, even with the lens, is far from perfect. That is why I did not realize for about an hour that I did not have the lens in my eye the other morning.
At first, when the usual blur did not clear up right away, I thought it was just one of those days when I was not going to see well. They happen often enough. Finally I put my finger to my eyeball and touched only eyeball—I knew the lens had not made it into my eye. So where was it?
I ran back to the bathroom, got on my hands and knees and felt across the floor from the door to the vanity cabinet, the only way I could possibly find it down there. No lens. At least I knew I wasn’t going to step on it. So I stood up and I felt across the entire vanity countertop. No lens.
Finally I took the hand towel off the rack. I always open the lens case over a towel because of the fluid in it. I felt one side of the towel and then turned it over. Still no lens, but when I picked up the towel again, there was the lens under it, finally having fallen off the towel with a tiny little “clink.” It was as solid as one of my old hard lenses. That nice soft lens material had dried up even in the humid bathroom air.
I soaked it in saline a couple of hours and it came back to life. Finally I could see again, at least as well as I ever do these days.
I came across a passage the other day. The light of the wicked shall be put out, and the spark of his fire shall not shine. His strength shall be hunger-bitten, and calamity shall be ready at his side. His roots shall be dried up beneath, and above shall his branch be cut off. His remembrance shall perish from the earth, and he shall have no name in the street, Job 18:5, 12, 18, and 19.
Trying to live your life without Christ will dry you up. I do not understand how people who do not have the hope He offers can handle life’s problems, and especially how they can handle dying. They have nothing to live for, and certainly nothing to die for.
We have said it over and over. The grace of God not only gives you salvation, it helps you overcome temptation, bear tragedies, and face death. If I turn into a dried up, bitter old woman, it is because somewhere along the line I refused to make use of that grace.
I wince, thinking about the pain I would have felt if I had tried to put that desiccated contact lens into my eye. We sometimes go about with pain that we needn’t bear. A good long soak in the grace and goodness of God makes it possible to live this life to the fullest and look forward to the one to come.
Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink. He that believes on me, as the scripture has said, from within him shall flow rivers of living water, John 7:37,38.