• sarah@healingeyes.org

A story unfolds

A story unfolds

I think God has a funny sense of accomplishing a plan. Let’s take someone who has been used to doing something for all of his or her adult life with a partner and then take that partner away. How does this person survive? That’s where it gets interesting because some people could just latch on to someone else to get him or her thru it. In my case I am latching on to someone I can’t see. That sounds so odd really. How can someone rely on an invisible man? Could a book really have all the answers to this person’s success or failure?

I started my journey of faith by packing up my minimal belongings onto a plane and landing on a tiny little island cut off from everything I ever knew. I emerged myself into a culture that has been foreign to me for years, the Christians. It’s a strange new world. I don’t like labels so let’s just call this culture a super nice group of people with lots of love.

Now the stage is set. Little island in the Caribbean and part of the US virgin islands. Palm trees, blue water, blue skies, and hot temperatures. It is an island in economic trouble and jobs are slim, food costs a lot, and water is only found thru a wallet and a ‘rain’ water machine. There are people who have money and those who don’t. There are children in need of love and direction. Really its just like any other place except for the whole water and sun thing, oh and the high prices, and bugs. Ok maybe it’s not quite like everywhere else.

This girl we shall call, the Young Widow, steps off the plane and feels the rush of heat and salt air on her skin. She smiles a little because it doesn’t feel quite as foreign as when she first got here. At first she can’t find her two totes of belongings but with some patience she locates them in a little office with a slightly grumpy lady. Sigh of relief. She loads them up on a cart and then waits by the curb for a ride. Sounds kinda funny looking back, a widow alone in an airport with just two totes and a carry on luggage waiting by a curb in the Caribbean.

The house she will call ‘home’ for an undetermined amount of time is familiar to her since it was the same place she landed 2 months before during her exploration phase. The room seems smaller and the heat is more intense. It feels a bit claustrophobic this time. Perhaps it’s the finality of the moment sinking in. The fact that the house is not hers, she has no car, and she has no idea what she is doing could be weighing heavier now.

What is the invisible companion up to? Perhaps he’s right by her side and guiding her weak body along, directing her path in a most uncomfortable route to encourage growth. If you imagine being dependant on another person for years and then now he’s gone you may feel disoriented and gimpy. Maybe this new friend knows what’s best to teach her how to walk again, how to feed herself again, how to wake each morning and decide to still breathe. During the dark nights he may comfort her with a presence that is unexplainable. Take away everything to rely on something foreign. Which seems ironic as now this girl is surrounding herself with foreign objects and people.

Each new morning in this place is difficult. The loss of a house is more traumatic than she had expected. It’s as if on top of the loss of a husband she now has no control of anything and no space to call her own. No comforts of her past life except clothes and books.  As the days go by she realizes how important those comforts were. Slowly her new friend introduces them back into her life to remind her how precious each of them are. A deeper appreciation of hot showers and electricity are fostered.

It’s hard to describe what a widow’s heart feels like. Let’s imagine a whole heart full of dreams and hopes for a future. Now apply pressure to it over a 2 year span and begin to chip away at its blood vessels. Choking off parts of the heart that supply oxygen so that parts of the body get sick from stress and worry. Each part of the body suffers from the introduction of a great suffocating pain. The pain of fear creeps into the heart and slowly takes over. With no way out it can fester. Now take the one person away that was keeping that weak heart pumping. This heart is now basically screwed because it has lost all its source of life.

The plan set before the girl is as clear as the words ‘Go’ at this point. Over time she starts to see it’s really a training course she signed up for. Lesson 101 on how to rebuilt a heart after all its life is sucked out.

  1. Get up
  2. Eat
  3. Optional cold shower
  4. Work and volunteer
  5. Read
  6. Write random words
  7. Eat
  8. Sleep

The invisible friend never leaves and is relentlessly working on his plan. Only letting her see glimpses of it so that she learns to follow by faith. He introduces a haven by the sea with a friend. He gives the opportunity to sleep there for a few days. He opens a door for a room to rent there. He closes the other doors to coral her into a narrow path of acquiring this room. The one bedroom condo is white and lofty, it overlooks a crashing sea at her feet. It has the bare necessities of living and is safe. All the while in her head she feels unworthy of such a lavish gift. The pain of her husband is lingering in her heart and is being used against her. In the middle of the night she awakes in a night sweat from a loud noise. The door had slammed shut and the curtains were blowing wild. Fear grips her little heart as she is used to curling up to another body who would say its ok…it’s just the wind. The voices start putting thoughts of fear in her head. She musters up the courage to turn the light on and open the door, slowly she embarrassingly looks around the corner and sees an empty living room. Crawling back in bed defeated by her fear she lets it continue and replays the last day of her husband’s life in a cold stark hospital room. All the sounds of the ICU come crashing back in as the waves outside her wind swirl in madness. There was so much pain in her husband’s eyes and fear of the unknown that awaited him in death. All of this reawakened in her heart from a door slamming in the middle of the night in a strange new home. The invisible friend tries to comfort but the voices are stronger in her head and crowd out that source of comfort. Pain and regret are the great immobilizers.

The morning comes and she lingers a bit longer in bed because getting up means facing another day alone. Another day with no companion to look forward to a future with. The thought of a hot shower finally woes her up out of bed. What a gift to have a quick hot shower at her fingertips.

She now has a stove too and a toaster! How perspective changes when you lose everything to rebuild. Eggs and toast. In the past her husband would have made eggs for her but this morning it’s her turn to do it. She is being taught how to care for herself. A dangerous line of being too independent though, which is an easy trap to fall into. In this new place there are still bugs, they are called Crazy ants, and they magically appear anywhere there is a crumb. So now it’s clean the dishes right after eating and leave no sign of food. Everything takes longer to do and with more foresight of consequences if not done correctly.

Healing Eyes
Healing Eyes

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