Beck column: Living with less than we started with
I’m going to try not to forget anything by counting from my head down. God gave us two eyes, two ears, two arms, two hands, two legs, and two feet. I know there are other internal organs which he gave us more than one of, but he only gave me one brain, and right now I can’t think of all the others. Oh, yeah, we have two kidneys, but when necessary, we can live with only one.
I have a friend who has a problem seeing out of one eye, and someone else has a glass eye, but they both celebrate because they can see just fine out of the other eye. I had blurred vision for 17 days once and my one heart got upset, but praise be to God, my vision returned. When I turned 40 I started having trouble with up-close vision, but bifocals helped with this.
I’ve met blind people who relish living in spite of their blindness. I know several who feel very blessed to have guide dogs and caring relatives and friends. When I think of blindness, the first person that comes to mind is always Helen Keller and then her caregiver, Anne Sullivan.
Two ears and good hearing is one of the greatest gifts God gave us. I once saw a man carrying a sign saying he was both deaf and mute and needed money. Because I once was on a respirator for eight days, I certainly understand how difficult it is not to be able to talk. (I actually won $25 after entering a contest with the title, “Silence is Not Necessarily Golden.”) I felt really bad that day because I had no cash to help him. As I was leaving, I saw him driving away. Was he a scam artist?
I have four friends who wear hearing aids as they are almost deaf. They have learned to read lips and use TDY phone service, but have a lot to deal with. Several members of my mother’s family became hard of hearing with age, and I have to admit I don’t hear as well as I would like, but compared to some folks I shouldn’t complain.
My friend, Lou, recently went with me to a speaking engagement, and as it got dark on the way home, I had to quit talking because she could no longer read my lips. Come to think of it, that didn’t mean she had to quit talking, because I could still hear her! I thank God for what I have left and for friends like Lou.
Oh, I almost forgot, God gave us two breasts and I know some ladies that have lost one, or both, due to cancer. Having had serious chest surgery when I was in my twenties, I know how traumatic it can be to live with scars and through the pain and suffering. Most breast cancer survivors are thankful that they have lived through their loss. Having lost my husband to cancer, I still thank God that Joe invited Jesus into his heart and is in heaven with no more suffering.
I heard that Joni Eareckson Tada, the Christian paraplegic who had a diving accident when she was 19 years old, now has breast cancer. She has lived through so much loss that this surely must be very trying. I have met her twice and was amazed how she came to terms with her losses and turned those into a ministry for the Lord. The first night we met she said she could tell that God had plans for me to use my disability to his glory! I have followed in her belief that “walking isn’t everything.”
One of my friends had to have one foot and part of her leg amputated. This has been a significant loss, but we all know there are folks, especially military personnel, who have lost one or both legs, arms, or even worse. Then there are those of us who still have two legs, but lost the use of either one, or both.
I can’t believe this story was prompted by thoughts of the loss of an earring. (I left home with both earrings on twice recently and came home with only one both times.) I can start talking about one subject, and end up chasing rabbits in different directions. Again, I have misplaced my watch that I love, but I can live without it. The one thing I will never have to live without, in spite of all my losses, is my relationship with my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and that is one race I will be able to finish when God calls me home.
Linda Beck lives in Woodleaf.
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