Our last development optometry appointment was very revealing and helped us understand how complicated Marcus' vision issues are. I won't bore you with the scientific details, but in general, his eyes don't work together properly, he has difficulty guiding his eyes where they need to go, has poor peripheral vision, and he uses his vision like a 5 month old does. Oh, and the vision that he does have will most likely diminish as he gets older. So with these vision challenges, low muscle tone, and difficulty with balance and coordination, yes...every little thing is tremendously difficult for Marcus.
We've been teaching Marcus to ask for help since even before he could speak. He started by using signs and now it's a full, "I need help, please." He knows how to do it, for sure. But now the frustration isn't in not knowing how to ask, it's in no longer wanting the help. He wants to be able to finish the puzzle, turn the page, close the box, screw the lid, kick the ball, build the tower, cut the paper, take off his shoe without having to rely on others so that he can sense the accomplishment of doing it all on his own. And so, there is a frustration he feels everyday and as parents, we sense his frustration growing in some ways because he is beginning to understand his limitations. This breaks our hearts.
Our prayer is that these physical weaknesses would be a blessing for Marcus. Although it stings to see him struggle and frightens us to imagine this struggle growing as he gets older, we yearn for the Lord to turn this curse into a gift for our dear son. We're begging the Lord to allow this forced reliance on others to be a willful reliance on the Lord for all things.
But as much as I pray this for Marcus, I can't help but plead for my own soul as well. Because what he is having to learn physically is what I need to learn spiritually; that I'm completely weak and unable to do anything apart from the grace of Christ. And as much I don't want to rely on Him and just do things on my own feeble strength, the truth is that my soul is unable to see, unable to stand, lacking in strength. Just like my son's body is.
When I see Marcus about to throw a puzzle piece across the room, I rush to let him know that if I just guide his fingers ever so gently, he'll be able to finish it and it'll look beautiful. Likewise, I hope to learn that if I abide in my Savior, He'll produce in me beautiful fruit and a life that will bring glory to Him without having to strive on my own and always fall short.
I am the vine; you are the branches.
Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit,
for apart from me you can do nothing.
So Marcus, let's learn this together. Let's always tell Him we need Him because He will ever be there to rescue us, help us. Let's always go to Him because He loves us so. If He gave us Jesus, He will give us all other things. Though your body may be weak, may your soul find strength in Him.