Jesus the Other Sun
Guiding me along the lighted path…
Faith is like radar that sees through the fog. ~Corrie Ten Boom, Tramp for the Lord
I stood with my red-and-white cane in the entrance-way to the grocery store. While I waited for my friend, Sue, to cash out, a guy leaving the store slowed down. He seemed as if he knew me.
“Amy, how ya doin’?” A blurry body leaned in and gave me a quick, warm hug.
My sleuthing skills kicked in.
Obviously, this person knew me. And he felt close enough to me to give me a hug. He was taller than me because he had to bend over a little bit. Good strong clues here.
“Oh, fine! What about you?” I paused and quickly came up with my first question. “How did your Christmas go?”
Not helpful. “Yeah. Well … what did Santa bring you?”
From his response, I ruled out that he was a close family member. Well, he could be a relative. But his voice didn’t sound like it. Plus, he was too tall.
Back to the investigation. “Wow. Who got that for you?”
He paused as if he didn’t expect me to be so direct. Was he thinking, What business is that of yours? “Ummm, my girlfriend, Cecie.”
“Ohhh.” I had no idea who “Cecie” was. So no help there. Definitely not a relative. Maybe a friend of a friend?
“He can make wine, too,” came a voice from out of nowhere as if he knew I needed a new clue to go on. Who’s that? Definitely a different voice from the first one. Startled, my head whipped around to pinpoint its location. Suddenly, a man’s body appeared from out of nowhere. Up until that point, I had no idea he even existed.
Maybe they’re both friends of friends. I mentally scrolled down the list of who I knew, and who my friends knew that would recognize me. But I drew a blank.
Just then a woman scuttled into my line of vision. She ignored me. I didn’t recognize her voice but I could smell a sweet perfume as she leaned toward the others. “Can you guys tell me which firewood outside is the best hardwood to buy?” She sounded …. almost flirtatious.
From the conversation, I gathered the guys didn’t know her. So no clues there.
What was taking Sue so long?
As they debated the various types of hard wood, something familiar about my mystery friend’s voice caught my attention. Or maybe it was the tilt of his head. Or the way he stood. Maybe all three. Anyway, I got it! At least I thought so.
Now I wanted the lady to leave. “Hope you find the wood you want,” I said pointedly. She faced me and stopped speaking. So I must have caught her off guard. Before long, she left.
“Did you see Sue inside?” Would that ring a bell with him?
He looked up. “No, we’ve been on this side of the store, though.”
Yep! It’s him. My high school classmate. “It’s great to see you again, Augie!”
There. I let him know that I knew him, too. Personally. I hadn’t seen him for thirty-five years until this past July at our class reunion. Ohhhh. No wonder I didn’t recognize him. He wasn’t on my usual radar. Yet, how could I not recognize this sweet guy? I couldn’t stop smiling now that I figured it out.
Later Sue asked, “Why didn’t you just say, ‘Who are you?’ He knows about your sight issues from the reunion.”
“What and ruin all the fun of guesswork?”
Besides, it wasn’t that easy and I’m not that bold. Maybe I’m still in some phase of denial. I imagined myself saying, “Hark! Who goes there?” in my best Shakespearean voice. Maybe one day…
That night, I lay in bed wrestling with this new-ish aspect of my vision loss. It scares me. I’m not ready to admit that sometimes I might need to ask. If it were only people I rarely saw when it happened, I wouldn’t be so frightened, but…well, I guess it’s not all that frequent. But that it happens isn’t good.
Each time I go through new vision loss, I grieve. Situations like these remind me my tunnel vision is getting narrower and narrower.
I think it’s okay to grieve. For awhile. We all grieve when we lose someone or something we cherish. That’s natural. What’s not okay is to dwell. As if I have no hope. In Psalm 23, God promises to be my shepherd: Jehovah-Rohi.
When I use my long cane, every time I pick it up and slide it in front of me, I’m reminded that I have His rod/his staff and My Shepherd is with me protecting me. (you can tweet this)
Rereading the 23rd Psalm encourages me. As with my cane, I tap into my faith. I decide that even though I can’t have everything I want, He promises to supply everything I need. He promises peace and rest. But in order to claim these qualities, I must release my anxieties when they attack. God renews my strength, and guides me along right paths, bringing honor to His name. As my vision becomes more faulty, I’m going to fight my sadness and fears so I can honor Him.
AND I’ll celebrate my victories, even little ones.
God, thank you for reminding me even when I can’t always recognize my friends, I can always recognize my Best Friend.