I have been reading a wonderful book written by Joni Eareckson-Tada called “A Place of Healing: Wrestling with the Mysteries of Suffering, Pain, and God’s Sovereignty”. If you haven’t heard of Joni, I’ll give a brief background. She is an accomplished author and advocate for the disabled. She sings and paints and hosts a radio show. What is so remarkable about this is that she was in a diving accident in 1967, at the age of 17, and has been a quadriplegic ever since. Her entire adult existence spent in a wheelchair, completely dependent on others. And yet she lives and breathes and inspires others to do the same (you know, to live).
Joni talks about the issue of divine healing. I know God can heal, and I have prayed countless times for it. Yet physical healing hasn’t happened for me. And some Christians will try to say if you’re not healed it’s because of a secret sin, or lack of faith. I’m here to declare that’s horse dookie. God will heal me, in His time.
Besides, if He isn’t healing me now, I trust that it is for a purpose. What that is exactly, I can only speculate. In fact, I believe God shared some of it with me today, through Joni’s book. She was describing the great analogy of the treasures in jars of clay, or in modern terms, gifts in a cardboard box. The box is just what holds the gift. It does not need to be fancy or even well-made. In fact, the more beat up the box looks, the more the gift inside will stand out. Do you see? Light shining through the dark, a gift glowing out of a cardboard box. The plainer the packaging, the brighter the light shines.
So I can understand why God has allowed my ears and eyes to fail. My disability brought me home, and gave me the gift of time. Time to give to my family and friends and ultimately, to God. That gift of time is the shining light in the darkness of hearing and vision loss. If the latter were the means to that end, I am thankful for all of it.
Have you ever read a book that you just can’t put down? I was an avid reader as a child, but that went away as I entered the “real world” and responsibilities moved in and crowded out any time or mental capacity to read for fun. Lately, however, I am rekindling that love of reading. It started with a book my mom let me borrow (via Amazon Kindle, which is cool). It was a book I couldn’t put down, and when I finished it I had to find more books by the same author to devour. See, I’m so used to my time being limited that I am not so willing to waste my time (or money, I suppose) on a book I won’t absolutely love. So finding an author I know I like helps.
The book that rekindled my love of reading was “Don’t Let Me Go” by Catherine Ryan Hyde. The next book I found of hers was “When I Found You”, and then “Walk Me Home”. Each of those were just as gripping as the first. But free books are not always readily found, so I took a short break. When I returned, I found a special on a book by Annalisa Grant, called The Lake. It’s a trilogy, which requires much more commitment than I was ready to hand over, but the first book was free, so I downloaded it (I only read books on my Kindle because with my poor vision, the contrast of black ink on white paper is too tiring). I forgot about the book for several weeks, but then just last week I saw it and decided to give it a shot. The rest is history. I’m half way through the second book ($3 on Amazon) and I am loving it. I have shed more tears from these books (happy cries as well as sad cries) than I ever have with any other book. The last time I remember crying his hard from a fictional story was years ago when I watched “P.S. I Love You” (I was crying so hard I had to pause the movie for several minutes, and then I think I may have called my mom for consolation).
So there we have it. Now that I’m not wasting my time with television, I’ve replaced that vice with books. It’s very hard to break away, but kids are persistent and not afraid to tell you what they want or need, so I’ve managed to balance my renewed addiction with making peanut butter & jelly sandwiches and painting nails. Natalie and I even had a lovely time this afternoon, snacking on carrot sticks and hummus and sugar snap peas.