I was about seven the first time I remember it happening. We were at the mall, shopping for sandals, when an unfamiliar woman approached my mother.
“Your daughter is so sweet. How old is she?”
“How old are you Shea?” my mom asked me. Painfully shy at the time, I held up seven fingers, hoping she wouldn’t ask me any more questions. Of course, she did…
“Shea, would you mind if I prayed for you??”
I looked to my mom, bewildered, then rather hesitantly shook my head. I guess I didn’t mind.
“Um, that’s fine.” My mom agreed too, in response to the woman’s questioning glance.
She took my hands, and began to pray. We quickly discovered that what she meant to ask was whether she could pray to restore my sight.
It happened several times after that, especially in the years before I entered high school. I had hands laid on me in restaurants and tongues spoken in the street. I grew to expect it from time to time, and since I didn’t know what else to do, I just shrugged, smiled, and let them pray. I wouldn’t get my sight back, and I didn’t particularly care. Blindness was my normal. I was satisfied with my life as it was. The last thing I needed was another year out of my life for the sake of surgery, or doctor’s appointments, or transition. Hard as it may be for others to comprehend, I didn’t want my vision… I craved stability, a thriving social life, success, not sight… but I let them pray, because I knew the prayers were empty anyway.
I was wrong. God did hear their prayers, and answered them. I was fifteen years old, studying at
Csehy summer school of Music,
when I finally received my sight. I received my first guide dog almost exactly a year later.
No, it wasn’t physical sight. I am still working with my first guide dog, get green and blue confused, and can hardly see my hand in front of my face in a brightly lit room, but I saw more clearly that summer’s day than I had ever before in my life.
It was sometime during those two weeks at camp that I understood. I saw myself, not the pretty little, blonde-haired, blue-eyed girl I saw in the mirror as a five year old, but me, The girl who thought she could find fulfillment in family, or academics, or morality, or popularity, or romance. The fifteen-year-old, bitter, rebellious me. Me, in all my faults and imperfections. The girl I saw in the mirror now was lost, broken, and hurting. I couldn’t see it at five, but I saw it now.
These wounds required something more than a temporal cure. Family, friends, school, even romance had all failed me, and left me emptier than before. I needed an eternal remedy.
Only Christ could be my cure. My brokenness had separated me from GOd. I was in need of his grace, and God was offering that grace, freely, through the sacrifice of his son, Jesus Christ.
I don’t let people pray for my sight anymore, because those prayers have already been fulfilled. Whether I will ever receive my physical sight in this lifetime is God’s prerogative. I am blessed beyond measure to know my Savior, and to know that, if I am physically blind for the rest of my life, the first person I will see when I do see again will be him.