I have thought about posting this for quite some time, and up until now I have resisted it. Partly because I’ve tried to keep this blog focused on Jesus and not on me, and partly because I am not proud of what I am going to be telling you today. This is something that I work really hard to hide, and when I am found out I make it a big joke, after all it can be funny at times, like when I run into the wall or something…
No, I’m not on drugs; nothing like that!
I have macular degeneration. As a result, I have been legally blind for over 30 years now. Of course, I wanted to hide it as a young man; who wants to be the one that is broken during the time in life when one is hoping to find a mate! And of course, to add insult to injury, I had to go out and find a condition that is supposed to affect the elderly, only I managed to do it in my late teens… macho!
I thought it might be interesting to show you what I can see, but I really couldn’t find a picture that is quite right… at least as far as I can tell. Here’s what I found:
This one gets the color right, the blind part is white, not black, but the rest is too sharp.
This one gets the color wrong, it isn’t black, and it’s much too small, more like it was in the beginning.
This one is interesting because you will get the idea of what happens when I look you in the eye, or at least where I think that would be; you disappear! Go ahead and give me your mean face!
With macular degeneration, you lose the ability to see what you are looking at, and you have to learn to use peripheral vision. You also learn to listen carefully; I can cook by sound much of the time… I do not recommend macular degeneration!
I want to make clear to anyone who is actually reading this that I am not telling you all of this looking for sympathy; on the contrary, I hope that you will come to realize that anyone can overcome adversity, even me. I have been self-supporting all of my life. I have been blessed by our Lord Jesus Christ with a great family, many wonderful career opportunities and many great opportunities to serve Him and others. Please don’t waste a minute in sympathy, but join me in praising God for all that He does in our lives!
Yes, I have frustrating times, like when I realize that having a blind proof-reader is a handicap, or when I miss the curb and take a dive, but all-in-all, I have nothing to complain about and more to give thanks for than I can possibly do justice to. I know that many people have disabilities and heartaches, and if this is your situation, I hope that you will take heart and have courage, for in Christ all things really are possible!