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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Vision (08/03/06)

TITLE: Crystal Clear
By Joanne Sher


The artistry of a sunset, with its deep reds, oranges and yellows, used to be my sustenance.

When I was depressed, I would go to the pond in my back yard and marvel at the beauty of the ripples on the water, the variety of wildflowers surrounding it, and the amazing diversity of the animals I saw. I would often see dragonflies, tadpoles, catfish, and even, occasionally, a deer enjoying an afternoon drink.

When I was bored, I would often drive up into the mountains, looking down with amazement at the city below, realizing what a small cog I was in this giant world. It always did wonders for my perspective.

Other times, I would pull out a book and engross myself in the imaginary world of the author. I found myself cheering for his heroes, crying and laughing along with them, and rejoicing at the injustices set right.

One of my greatest joys was looking into the eyes of my husband and telling him what a wonderful man he was, and how much I loved him. He has the deepest, most beautiful eyes I had ever seen.

I donít do any of these things anymore, and havenít for several years. And do you know what? I donít miss them.

I have to admit, I used to. Who wouldnít? After 35 years of being able to see, having your sight taken from you is quite a blow. But, I tell you, the good Lord has given me something better - MUCH better.

How did I lose my sight? To be honest, itís really not important. The crucial question is: WHY did I lose it? Now, THAT question I will answer. I donít know: at least not fully. I can tell you, however, that there is Someone who does know, and He has given me little glimpses over the past few years that have given me a peace I never had when these eyes were working.

People these days complain about being distracted by all the horrible images on television, and all those teenagers who walk around practically nude. I can say with confidence that, personally, I do not have any of those concerns.

I used to be one of the most independent people on this earth. I didnít need anyone, and I could do anything. Now I am often dependent on others - which has helped me to learn to depend on the One who created me. There is nothing like needing someone to make you more aware of the needs of others, and how to meet them. I have become the servant that Christ had always wanted me to be, and all it took was the removal of one of my senses!

And, I know that I will be able to see again when I get to heaven (and I KNOW thatís where Iím going!), and it will be glorious. I donít think there will be people more appreciative of the wonderful sights of our heavenly homes than those who could not see their earthly ones.

I often think of that wonderful hymn Amazing Grace and realize that it is true, in a very odd way, for me.

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me;
I once was lost, but now Iím found
Was blind but now I see.

You can see so much more clearly with heavenly eyes than you ever can with earthly ones. When I became blind, my world completely opened up to all I could, and will, see.

Instead of the colors of the sunset, I will see the sparkling glaze of the twelve foundations of the Holy Cityís walls. (Revelation 21)

Rather than marveling at our pond and the foliage around it, I will sit by the River of Life and eat of its tree. (Revelation 22:1-2)

Instead of watching a city from above, I will live in the New Jerusalem, with streets of gold and gates of pearl. (Revelation 21)

Rather than reading books to be transported to new lands, I will be living the ultimate fantasy, one that no one can imagine or improve upon.

And, on those days when I miss looking into my husbandís eyes, I remember that, one day, I will be able to look directly into the most amazing eyes of all - the eyes of my savior, Jesus Christ.

I may have lost my sight, but, thanks to my wonderful Lord, my vision is crystal clear.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Marilee Alvey08/10/06
A very interesting perspective. It's funny how God can enlarge our vision by taking it. We never appreciate something until its gone, but " man's reach should exceed his grasp, else what's a heaven for?" As we lose the abilities we once had, as they fade away, we yearn for that day when they will be returned to us, permanently. Thanks for the lovely reminder.
Jan Ackerson 08/11/06
Very effective--your last several paragraphs putting the first half of your essay into eternal perspective.
Kaylee Blake 08/12/06
I really liked this. Perhaps many more people will learn from this wonam's example. I liked your style of writing. The end really pulled it all together.
Dolores Stohler08/13/06
terri tiffany08/14/06
This was wonderful!! Beautifully laid out and a terrific ending. Great start too!
Marty Wellington 08/15/06
Very effective parallels from the beginning activities to the end realities/scripture and eternal perspective. I thoroughly enjoyed this entry. Well done!
william price08/15/06
Well it's chrystal clear this writer is very, very talented. A very nice story told extremely well. No bells, whistles, or explosions, just an honest story written from a heart who really loves Jesus. I enjoyed this. God Bless.
Jen Davis08/15/06
I was drawn from the beginning with the beautiful pictures you painted with you words and enjoyed how you brought it all together at the end. I hope that you will find a way to share this with others who have lost their vision.
Trina Courtenay08/17/06
Beautiful piece! Congrats on your win!
Steve Uppendahl08/17/06
This is simply written beautifully. Great job with description, but your voice was even better.


Congrats on your well deserved win.
Helen Paynter08/17/06
COngratulations, Joanne. A very well-deserved win. Meteoric!
Valerie Routhieaux08/17/06
You did a wonderful job with the imagry. I liked the way that you tied our earthly vision with our heavenly one. You really deserve the win on this one. Moving right up. Congrats
Linda Watson Owen08/22/06
Wow! What a wonderful piece!! Joanne, I'm very late reading this and congratulating you on this win, but in a way I'm glad I found it today. What a blessing it has been to read this inspiring work of faith! Thank you for creating it.
Carol Gray09/09/06
Congratulations Joanne! This piece was wonderful. I am not sure if you were writing this well before you lost your ability to see physically, but I do believe, also that God's strength is made perfect in our weakness. You have an anointing to write. Be encouraged! God Bless
Pat Guy 10/03/06
Wow Joanne! This is awesome! Your insights are 'right on' and your 'voice' is perfect. Great writing girl! ; )
Rhonda Clark03/29/07
This does give some different perspective. Love it.
Julie Arduini03/29/07
It's crystal clear why you won on this one, it is just out and out precious.
Sharlyn Guthrie04/02/07
This is a treasure! I loved the spiritual applications and the wonderful optimism expressed. I could only hope that my attitude would be that Spirit-controlled if I found myself in such a circumstance.
Verna Cole Mitchell 04/04/07
Joanne, This was just wonderfully done! The imagery and plotting are perfect. I'm so glad I got to read it. Verna
Jacquelyn Horne05/15/07
What a wonderful story. It makes me ashamed that my spiritual vision is not what it ought to be. Very good pov here. Thanks for sharing.