Give me new eyes

“Now therefore stand still and see this great thing that the Lord will do before your eyes.” 1 Samuel 12:16

Recently, CURE received a visit from some students and staff from an international school in Nairobi.

This group was really interested in our work with Smile Train, an organization that helps provide free cleft lip and palate surgeries for children. We gave them a tour, let them give goodies to our kids, and even gave them a taste of what surgery is like by allowing them to go into our operating rooms.

The group noticed a lot of things—things that I’ve probably grown accustomed to. I’ve already forgotten their comments, but they were filled with empathy and sweetness. They were seeing CURE with “first-time eyes.” They had a fresh perspective.

Recently, I also went to a concert. Now, this wasn’t your regular, go-watch-Adele-or-the-Newsboys-perform-for-you-for-an-hour-and-a-half kind of concert. This was a concert with a purpose. It was called, “Concert in the Dark.” One of the main purposes of this concert was to raise money for surgeries for the blind. Some of the concert was played in the dark. We received cards with braille messages on them, and we experienced moments of what it feels like to be blind.

At that concert, we also watched a video of a child who received cataract surgery. During the video, we watched him have an eye exam, go through surgery, and then we saw him after his surgery. There was something about that video…  It was a simple video. It wasn’t very long. It wasn’t overly fancy, but it had an important impact on me. There was that visual of watching a child find healing through surgery.

Then I realized…

This is what happens at CURE!

And it happens all the time.

All too often, my job just becomes my job. I go to work. I take the photos I need. I edit the stories. I giggle with the kids. I act silly. I go home.

Transformation happens in front of my face EVERY DAY. And I act like it’s JUST a job.

Oh sure, that’s not all that goes on.

Sometimes, I want to cry for these kids. For Mercy, one of my best little friends who had to have her leg amputated because a tumor had eaten most of the bone. For Stephen, a boy with special needs who lives at a children’s home. He was left there to be cared for by people who are not his parents.

Sometimes, I can barely take it, all these hard things. Every one of these kids has a story. So many have been through more in their little lives than I have in my big life. So many have more strength and joy than I do.

All this aside though, our kids find healing and a different life because they spend a few minutes being examined by our doctors, thirty minutes to a few hours spent in the operating room, a few days spent in our hospital, and a few months or years with routine doctor visits wearing orthotics or braces.

I watch this all the time. God is healing kids through CURE each and every day.

But I need to see things with new eyes so that this isn’t just my job. It’s my joy. It’s my privilege. It’s my divine appointment.

Brandon Heath puts it this way:

Give me Your eyes for just one second
Give me Your eyes so I can see
Everything that I keep missing
Give me Your love for humanity

Give me Your arms for the broken-hearted
The ones that are far beyond my reach
Give me Your heart for the ones forgotten
Give me Your eyes so I can see.

This is my prayer. I hope it can be yours, too. Pray for my eyes that I would see CURE’s patients and each person God has placed in my life as he wants me to. But also, pray for your eyes, too. Pray that God would give you His perspective on life around you. I’m praying for you, friends!