“The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter. ’tis the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.” Mark Twain

Friday Fiction: "Crystal Clear"

Here's my Friday Fiction story - one of my VERY early challenge entries, and an all-time favorite. This is definitely one I'm fairly certain I NEVER could have written without the experiences I had because of Marc's illness (yeah, I'm gonna TRY to tie my fiction in to the book I'm working on.)

Check out more Friday Fiction at Patterings.

Crystal Clear

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 don’t do any of these things anymore, and haven’t for several years. And do you know what? I don’t miss them.

I have to admit, I used to. Who wouldn’t? 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, it’s really not important. The crucial question is: WHY did I lose it? Now, THAT question I will answer. I don’t 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 didn’t 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 that’s where I’m going!), and it will be glorious. I don’t 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 I’m 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 City’s 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 husband’s 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.


  1. I hadn't read this one before. I love the part at the end, where you compare things we see on earth to what will be in heaven.
    Thanks for posting this.

  2. Tender, beautiful, and the blindness caught me off guard. Your ending was perfect.

  3. WOW, Joanne! What an absolutely beautiful piece. This one touched the deepest recesses of my heart. Definitely gave ME a new perspective, as well.

  4. Reading your story gave me a fresh perspective on how I look at things. I loved the part about loooking at things through heavenly eyes.

  5. Great story, Joanne! I love the wise way of this MC...waiting for the Heavenly vision to restore her sight, but allowing the Lord to use her in many other ways while she's still here.

  6. I hadn't read this one before, either. Nice writing as always.

  7. I don't think I've ever read this one! I had a feeling you were aiming for something here with sight. ^_^ Loved the voice and tone of this. So tender and heartfelt. Kudos! ^_^

  8. This is just chocked full of wisdom here. Beautiful masterpiece Joanne.

  9. Wow, Joanne. So good! I could feel this one! Love it!

  10. AnonymousJune 28, 2008

    This was so good. Great reminder to appreciate what we have whether it is sight, hearing, walking, or the special people in our lives.

  11. What a positive and encouraging way of looking at something that most would consider a curse, and instead, seeing it as a blessing.

    It was a joy getting to read one of your early FW entries. :)


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