My vision has never been good. I've worn eyeglasses since second grade and contact lenses since high school. Once during a Little League game, a line drive smacked me right on the nose, splitting my glasses' plastic frames neatly in half. My vision was so bad that at optometrists' exams, the only letter I could see on the eye chart was the big E—and then only because I knew it was an E.

For several years, I pondered whether I should have laser surgery to correct my vision. Friends and colleagues gave the procedure glowing reviews, and I read positive testimonies on websites and blogs. My main stumbling block was justifying the cost. Was it a vanity expense, like a facelift or a tummy tuck? But after losing yet another contact, I calculated that I'd spent enough money on lost lenses, contact fluid, and other supplies that it might be better stewardship to get my vision corrected.

Last year, I took the plunge. Encouraged by a 25 percent-off coupon given to me by a friend, I went ahead and had the surgery. My corneas were too thin for the normal slice-a-flap procedure, so I underwent a different procedure (which was more expensive, of course).

It didn't quite take. The doctor said that when you throw a football from 50 yards, it's harder to be on target than it is from 5 yards. My vision had been something like 20/400, and he was able to bring it to 20/40—tantalizingly close to clear vision, but still fuzzy.

The doctor scheduled follow-up "enhancement" procedures. For the next several months, my vision remained in an in-between state, far better than it had been for decades, but still not quite as sharp as I would have liked. I sat closer to my computer screen and increased the zoom on Microsoft Word to 125 percent. When ...

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Kingdom Sightings
Al Hsu is an editor at InterVarsity Press and author of The Suburban Christian, Grieving a Suicide, and Singles at the Crossroads. His column ran in 2008.
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February 2008

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