Most of this past week was spent in Baltimore, Maryland, attending medical appointments with Thing 1, my oldest child, at Johns Hopkins Hospital. As she attends university in Baltimore, this is convenient. Thing 1 has a rarish genetic syndrome that requires rather extensive follow up on a semi-annual basis. Blessedly, she has a light case, even though she is heavily burdened. Having said that, we made the week into a party, now that she is 21 and can legally imbibe. Why not? Our favorite was the Owl Bar in the Belvedere Hotel. A former speakeasy, the owls’ eyes above the bar blink to indicate whether or not it is safe to have a cocktail. Woo hoo! What a hoot.
Our first cause for celebration was a beautiful cardiac angiogram. When I have the photos I will try to post one. Stunning, to look at the heart so literally. No bulges in the aorta! No twisting (“tortuosity”) in the arteries! It was such a beautiful image I might have to frame it.
We also saw two eye specialists, one an eye surgeon who will remove and replace her right eye lens and then a retinal surgeon who has to be on hand in event of a detachment. Dr. G asked what kind of lens Thing 1 would like implanted – one for distance or one for seeing up close. The goal is to get her close to 20/20 vision as possible. If she went for the distance lens, he said her vision would be “calibrated to infinity”.
How can one not be in awe of the the Creator of the eye? I am not a scientist, and only barely understand its workings, but to me the eye is a big miracle in and of itself. And it does not work alone – the brain takes whatever image it’s given and turns it right side up. (Cameras are basically mini-eyes and function in the same way – photographers can read about calibrating to infinity here).
While we were waiting waiting waiting in the various waiting rooms, I started reading Anthony Doerr’s gorgeous book All The Light We Cannot See about a blind (coincidence?) French girl, Marie-Laure, and a young German solider Werner, in World War II. (Coincidence?) Although Marie-Laure cannot see, she compensates with other heightened perceptions. Werner trusts in his radio signals, sound waves that come over the air, unseen, guiding him towards his fate. Both are empathetic characters. I finished the book Sunday and have been pondering it ever since.
As it happens, my bible study homework unearthed this gem this morning, which helped me figure it out a bit:
Hebrews 11:1-3 tells us, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. …. By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was made from things that are not visible.”
The world in the year 67 AD, the approximate time the book of Hebrews was written in the New Testament, did not know about light rays and sound waves.
And then I remembered this one:
1 Corinthians 13:12New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
“12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known.”
I am so excited for Thing 1 just to see me face to face from ten feet away as opposed to three – she has been seeing dimly for so long. What will it be like, I wonder, for her to wake up and have her vision restored? Calibrated to infinity? I like to think we are all calibrated to infinity, focused on what matters, able to see what is unseen, faithful to our true potential, fully known. This St. Paddy’s Day, my Irish eyes are smiling. Slainté!
Mr. Doerr, a native Ohioan, now lives in Boise, Idaho. Here is his calendar of events. I will be bringing my book on October 11 for his autograph.
Hot movie tip: Focus with Will Smith and Margot Robbie. Awesome!
Beth Moore’s Living Beyond Yourself: Exploring the Fruit of the Spirit