Last year I wrote that I had to have multiple surgeries. In fact, since the beginning of 2016, I have had surgery eight times. Six of those were on my right eye due to a detached retina. The last one hopefully was this past Monday. While my vision has been restored in that eye to some extent, scar tissue has been keeping me from being able to see things clearly. It has been impossible for me to read with my right eye for the past 17 months. It will be a couple of months before I know how successful this surgery was.

One of the things I have gained from all of this is an appreciation for what I do have. I still have one eye that is operating properly, which allows me to function normally. Were it not for the good vision in that eye, I would not be able to read at all or even drive!

Good vision is something many of us take for granted. I know I did. I did not need any corrective lenses until I was 30, and even then, it was only minor. While the prescriptions have changed to stronger powers over the years, including the addition of bifocal lenses, I have been able to see well with my glasses. In fact, I don’t need to wear my glasses at all when I am working at my desk – my left eye is still that good!

I wonder how many things I have not seen over the years because I have taken my vision for granted? I started thinking about some of the sights I have seen for which I am truly grateful.

I am truly grateful that I have seen my children grow to adulthood.

I have seen my children’s children.

I have witnessed the beauty of God’s creation around the globe.

I have seen the face of my lovely bride by my side for many years.

I have witnessed the power of God at work in the lives of people through his word, through baptism, and through the Lord’s Supper.

I have been able to read about God’s promises for myself in modern translations of scripture as well as in the original languages.

I have seen dear friends and loved ones die, but they did so with confidence in Jesus as their Lord, which means I will see them again.

I have seen the expression on people’s faces when they have come to know and believe the Jesus died for them.

Oh, what these eyes have seen. Should my sight be taken from me this side of heaven, I pray God would give me the grace to realize that I still have the eyes of faith to see Jesus my Lord. And, I know my vision would be restored when I stand in the presence of my Savior. And what will I see there?

“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him…” 1 Corinthians 2:9

Michael Mattil is the pastor of Grace Lutheran Church in Denison. He can be reached at