My Grandma was a very poised and polished woman. She dressed up when she went anywhere, refused to wear jeans and was a germaphobe long before the word even existed.
Grandma Mac was also a doer. She loved to go out for dinner and would frequently fly from DesMoines to St.Louis to see us throughout my childhood. Whenever I was with her in a public restroom, she had an odd habit that she insisted I help her with. She always rolled up the pant legs of her polyester pants for fear that her slacks might drag the floor and end up in a mystery liquid.
Grandma Mac was a petite woman and frequently would hem her own pants and took great pride in her appearance. The embarrassing part of this habit would occur for me, a tween at the time, when Grandma would forget to roll her pant legs back down and she'd be strutting down the concourse at Lambert International Airport with one pant leg rolled up and one half rolled down. She refused to slow down long to allow me to kneel before her and unroll her pants. I would try my best to catch her and let her know, but she was a fast walker.
That sweet memory struck me this week as I began searching scripture for passages regarding Jesus' healing powers.
In Matthew Chapter 14, verse 35 it says ...."People brought all their sick to him (v36) and begged him to let the sick just touch the hem of his garment, and all who touched it were healed."
What I wouldn't have given for a chance to touch the hem of Jesus' robe this week just like I ran my fingers across the hem of my Grandma's slacks thirty years ago.
December 27th will mark the 9 month mark since my cornea transplant and the much anticipated time to begin 'stitch removal' and get a true understanding of what the actual vision prognosis is after refraction.
I have had no vision change and honestly don't pay much attention to it anymore. One eye automatically closes when I type or read and I rarely experience redness or dryness and never pain anymore. Everything in my left eye is always blurry. Sometimes a little less, sometimes a bit more, but it's my reality.
This week I had an appointment at the renowned Wheaton Eye Clinic to have my eye dilated and begin the plan for stitch removal. (Not all stitches come out at once - it's a methodical process that takes some trial and error to achieve the maximum balance of cornea health and avoid irritation.)
Going in to the appointment, I was in great spirits at the thought of putting this season behind me and working towards final resolution through a contact lens prescription or new left lens in my glasses.
I left feeling like I got kicked in the stomach. The exam revealed that I'm in the throws of cornea rejection. My eye is not accepting the transplant and we have to work to quiet it down before an infection appears. Yesterday, I began a dreaded series of 12 eye drops a day - 10 minutes apart...rest in-between to allow maximum absorption of the Predforte and Zirgan.
The best case scenario is that my eye will respond to the drops and we can turn around the rejection. Worst case scenario is that the rejection is irreversible and I have to have the transplant removed and they have to harvest a new cornea grafted onto the surface of my eye.
The primary reason for rejection is an immune system response in the body. It is not lost on me that all the while my 'Primary Biliary Chirosis' is silently attacking the bile ducts in my liver under the heading of an 'auto immune disease.' I haven't given that 2008 diagnosis much thought in light of my vision challenges, but it is still very much alive and active.
As the week has progressed and I've reflected more and more on that vision of touching the hem of Jesus' robe, I've been imagining what it would feel like to experience total healing. In my head I've reenacted how the threads of His garment would feel in my fingers and it occurred to me that the greatest thing I can duplicate from those miracles of healing that we read about in the New Testament, is the physical pose of those followers of Christ.
It is impossible to touch the hem of a cloak when you are upright and focused on going and doing. The only way to grasp the edge or fringe of a tunic is to be in a prone or kneeling position.
The only way for me to push ahead towards healing is to stay in relationship with God. Everyday He longs to visit with me. He waits and He delights in me. However, if I never sit in His presence, it will be impossible to even get close enough to touch His robe.
He longs to have me kneel before Him so he can pull my chin up and rest His eyes on mine. He desires that for me and He desires it for you too.
Will you join me on my knees?
He'll be waiting.