I Need Heaven

 I held a magnifying glass up to my eye and jokingly asked Elijah, “Is this what things look like to you when you aren’t wearing glasses?” It was evening and I was lying beside him on his bed as the rest of the kids threw pillows up in the air with Edric. They were playing a game, using the pillows as pretend bombs and tossing them at one another.

Elijah had taken off his glasses as he usually does before bedtime and set them aside. But in response to my question, he now put them back on, holding the magnifying glass up against his eyes. “Yup, pretty much.”

I knew his eyes were bad, but for the first time, I realized how indistinguishable details are to him. The room turned into a messy blur of moving shapes and colors that melted into one another. I could see forms of people but there were no lines to define where one object or body ended and another began. It was like seeing the world as an impressionist painting, but with movement. No wonder he says I’m a beautiful mommy! He doesn’t see any of my flaws! (In contrast to my second son, Edan, who asked me the other day, “What are those holes on your face, mom?” referring to my pores! Ack!)

When the reality of Elijah’s eyesight hit me, my heart hurt in the way that a mother’s does when she feels helpless to remedy the pain of her child. I was quiet. Elijah, unaware of the stirring within me, removed his glasses once again and sat up on the bed to join his brothers’ pillow-bomb fighting.

I watched him playfully interact with his brothers and dad, unaffected by the constraints of his handicap. He’s lived with his degenerating eyesight for years. And although his Ophthalmologist visits are trying because his fear of possible blindness intensifies during each check up (when his eye grade shoots up), he’s come to accept that this is his cross in life.

Without his glasses, Elijah wouldn’t be able to find me in a crowd unless I was twelve inches away from his face. Unless he heard my voice and zoned in on the direction it came from, he would be lost. When Elijah misplaced his glasses last year, he got separated from us in the mall. In my terror, I panicked. It took me a few minutes to find him. He was walking directionless in an aisle with crowds of people passing by him on either side. I called out to him and took him in my arms immediately and held on to him. What a relief to know that he was okay!

By God’s grace, Edric and I don’t have bad eyesight. Edric wears glasses but his grade is minimal. He can function without them. My eyes are still okay. I’ve eaten a lot of tomatoes in my lifetime. Maybe that has something to do with it! More sensible people would say that it’s genetic, of course.

Everytime I think about Elijah’s eyesight, it makes me reflective about heaven. Whether surgery works on him someday or doesn’t, I’m glad that there’s heaven for him, for me, for everyone. We need heaven. I need heaven.

This morning, on the way to a planning retreat, Elijah and I were having a dialogue about his eyesight again, and he told me, “Mom, someday in heaven, I want Jesus to be the one to touch my eyes to heal me.” I choked back the tears. What a tender hope he treasures in his heart as he looks forward to eternity.

I think about the hurting, the sick, the destitute, the dying, and rejoice that the length of human life on earth isn’t the best part of our existence. Whatever you and I are going through today, it’s comforting to know that God has prepared a better place for us through His Son, Jesus.

“Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God believe also in Me. In my Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.” John 14:2-3


24 thoughts on “I Need Heaven

  1. I do pray for Elijah’s eyesight to get better. Hopefully, he will be able to enjoy seeing things without his glasses.

    I remember the days when I envy my siblings because they have glasses and I even insisted that I need one too. I now realise how fortunate I am that I do not need to worry about falling asleep with contact lenses or making sure that I have enough eye solution so that my eyes will not dry out. These are just some of the ordeal that they have to go through to make sure that they get to see what’s in front of them, literally.

  2. When I needed a bit of comfort the most, you quote one of my favorite passages. Thank you for the reminder. Have a blessed weekend!

  3. Thank you for sharing this. I’m 25 weeks pregnant and expecting my firstborn, Josiah, this December. This afternoon, I felt anxious about my baby’s health. Your blog post today reminded me to fix my eyes on Jesus. God bless you, Joy, and your family.

    1. Congratulations!!! The first always makes you the most nervous! May God bless the rest of your pregnancy 🙂

  4. Hi! We’ve been battling severe skin asthma and pulmonary asthma with my 13 year old daughter since she was 3. She had to start wearing glasses since she was 11. Then my Mom was diagnosed with a stage 3 cancer last December. When I read this post it made me sad but blessed at the same time. Sad because there is sickness in the family but that does not take away my hope that eventually everything will be fine. That God would bring healing to her and my Mom. Of all the struggles and tears we have been through, I can still say that we are blessed because Jesus is with us and His promises are true and that He is in control of everything. Thank you for sharing this. Lately, as I was able to talk to wives and moms like me, I’ve realized that we all have problems no matter what your status in life is. “iba-iba lang yung level” but it’s our perspective in life that is important. I remember your Dad’s preaching that we’ve watched on you tube when your mom shared the incident that someone stole her wallet/purse that she was not even worried about what she lost, she even thought that there were no tracks left in it. Hoping that the person who took it might be able to read it and be saved. It’s not the problem that should overwhelm and control us. It is very important not to forget who we have with us and what He can do to help and bless us to remove the pain and bring blessing and healing. What she shared and what your dad preached changed something in me, as I used to be a worrier. Your family and marriage had been an inspiration to me too. Please continue on what you are doing as this is a channel of God’s grace and love not just for moms and wives but for all women who wants to pursue the life the Jesus has prepared for them. Thanks Joy!

  5. Hi Joy, my daughter just came from her eye doctor because her eyesight is getting worse too and very quickly. The doctor told me about new research on this and he recommended some things that could help improve the eyesight of kids. First he recommended increasing time spend outside the home with the kid not wearing eyeglasses. Then he recommended eating one saging na saba a day. This is apparently helpful for hydrating the cells in the eyes. He also recommended ingesting 1/4 teaspoon of rock salt (sea salt and not iodized) followed by two glasses of water daily. He said that studies have shown these steps help and he has had a lot of young clients whose eye sight stopped declining and some even improved! We just started with the practice two days ago so I cannot vouch for it myself but I figured what’s the harm right?

  6. Hi Joy.

    Praying for Elijah. He is blessed to have a parents like you and Edric do. That hope you have teach him makes him a better person despite of his situation. God Bless you and your kids.
    Also, please be reminded of this and my hope for you is this also.

    The faithful love of the Lord never ends!
    His mercies never cease.
    Great is His faithfulness;
    His mercies begin afresh each morning.
    I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance;
    therefore, I will hope in Him!”
    Lamentations 3:22-24

  7. thanks a lot for the post here.i recently finished studying my medicine and now currently pursuing my internship in the same . as i see patients everyday there is a deep burden on my heart for these helpless people , especially the ones who do not know jesus. sometimes i feel like i must go out tthere and just tell them about jesus and his desire to heal them , but all i can do is just pray for them . this post was a good reminder that definitely someday all of them will know jesus in their real home and know his saving grace !
    god bless your work 🙂

  8. Blessed assurance indeed… that no matter the circumstance we all go through, we are saved. Saved from worries of what might come next, and of course, saved from God’s wrath. Thank you for this post Ms. Joy 🙂

  9. Hi Joy, I’m supposed to attend a seminar this morning on parenting where you and Edric are the speakers but I have other things I supposed I need to attend to. Anyway, I ended up reading your blogs. After reading this blog, I had an impression that Elijah’s case is used by the Lord to make you authentic in reaching to parents who went through the same pain, helplessness or fear. He is special because like you (going through that dark moment when you were 15 years old), his challenges will be used by the Lord for His greater glory. God will continue to bless you and your whole clan.

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