Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

November 2, 2012

A positive minute: I once was blind

Dr. Michael Layne
Greensburg Daily News

Greensburg — John 9:19

“And they asked them, saying, ‘Is this your son, who you say was born blind? How then does he now see?’”

Our vision is a very precious gift. I know the value of good vision and the curse of not-so-good vision. It all started a few years ago when I was diagnosed with Diabetes. It wasn’t long after the diagnosis that I began to experience problems with my vision.

The first thing to happen was the loss of the central vision in my right eye. Then I was told there was nothing that could be done for that problem and with the other eye I would need some laser treatment to tack down the Retina.

As I sat in the treatment room I was curious as to what the experience would be like getting this laser treatment. After about 5,000 hits of laser in both eyes to tack the Retinas down, I can tell you, it’s amazing!

Not long after the procedure I experienced some “bleed out” in my good eye which caused me feel as though I was living in a fog. If you have ever driven in a foggy situation then you know how anxious you can get.

My life changed. I was reduced to staying at home as I was unable to go into a workplace and hold down a job. I went through some episodes of depression and the uncertainty of my future and, then, evaluating my worth in this world to my friends, family and to God.

With the education and experience I have in counseling therapy, I knew that I must effect change in my thinking in order to move upward and beyond the situation that I found myself in. I found ways to help my wife around the house even though there were a few times when I would find her redoing the dishes that I thought I had washed appropriately.

During this time of impairment, I was called upon to perform weddings and funerals. I would have to print out what I needed to read in huge letters so I could see them and, even then, it was a bit of a stumbling/bumbling process. I refused to allow the condition to control my life and take me in a direction I knew God didn’t want me go.

We read about people in the Bible who were blind and Jesus would come by and heal them of their blindness. I believed He would do the same for me. I know that He heals us of spiritual blindness and it is His will that we prosper spiritually and physically.

We find ourselves going down paths that are unfamiliar to us from time to time. Often our traveling through this life requires a faith in our Lord that becomes unshakeable. Do you give up when faced with opposition? Do you have issues that seem unanswerable? What are you doing about them?

Let me tell you that for me, it’s having conversation with the Lord. We call it prayer. People have asked me about prayer and how to do it. I asked them if they have ever had a conversation with anyone else. Of course they look at me funny and then I tell them that they need not have a problem with prayer. They were able to ask me a question and they listened to my answer and this is much the way it is in our conversing with God.

Sounds way too simple, but it really works. I know.  Not because I am an ordained Bishop and certainly not because of my educational level, but because of my relationship with HIM. The only way a relationship survives and works is through communication. A greater part of maintaining a healthy relationship with someone is “listening.”  When’s the last time you prayed and then spent quiet time listening?

Well, my vision has greatly improved and I am able to read small print with the help of reading glasses. I can navigate the computer and I am able to drive. I have come a long way from certain darkness and feelings of hopelessness to now experiencing accomplishments and you, my readers, are a great part of what drives me to keep doing what I do. Thank you!

Michael Layne, PhD, ThD is a Bishop in the Lutheran Orthodox Church and a free-lance writer. He can be reached at 812-662-5154 or