Now He Can See (A story from the Pandemic)
The coronavirus pandemic has produced considerable heartache, especially for those who have lost loved ones and then can’t draw comfort from the hugs of friends and family because of the need for social distancing.
However, at the same time, God is at work, doing amazing things that often get overlooked in the onrushing crunch of bad news that greets us by the day.
One example is the story I wrote recently for the Assemblies of God’s (AG) news website.
It deserves special mention since it took place after an assisted living home had curtailed all outside visitors because of the coronavirus.
Pandemic: No Visitors Allowed
A Southern Baptist church had been sending a volunteer to lead the Sunday morning Sunday school class at the residence.
When they learned visitors would be prohibited as of mid-March, members asked one of the residents, retired AG minister Paul Beasley if he would lead the sessions.
The only problem was two years earlier, he had been diagnosed with macular degeneration. In general, one cause of the disease is heredity; before her death Beasley’s mother had gone blind because of the condition.
According to the American Macular Degeneration Foundation, the deterioration is the leading cause of vision loss, affecting more than 10 million Americans. Considered incurable, as it progresses it causes blurred vision.
Because of his problem, Beasley worried about preparing for class. Not only could he barely see the lessons in the quarterly produced by LifeWay Christian Resources, he couldn’t read his Bible that well either.
When he prayed, Beasley sensed the Holy Spirit prompting him to ask his wife, Karen, to lay her thumbs on his eyes and pray.
That mere act represented a step of faith, since two doctors had told him his eyes were as good as they would ever get.
“When she finished praying, I picked up my quarterly and could read it perfectly,” Beasley told me, his voice quivering. “I read my Bible and I could read it like when I was 16 years old.
“I read a chapter from Psalms and didn’t miss a word. I can read anything I want now. I get chills and I cry (talking about it).”
In addition to talking with his brother—who pastors the church Beasley did before going into assisted living last year—I called one of the doctors who had treated him.
Since he hadn’t examined Beasley recently and couldn’t verify this healing, the physician didn’t want to be quoted or identified in the story.
However, the doctor said when he last saw Beasley, the man couldn’t read. The physician told the retired minister that glasses weren’t going to fix his problem.
“If he says he can see, I believe him,” the doctor said. “I can tell you as a friend he’s honest and trustworthy.”
The God Who Works
Karen Beasley is as happy as her husband. She talked about how other class members’ faces and eyes would light up when they heard what had happened.
“He was having to have me read the Bible for him because he couldn’t read it anymore,” she said. “He had memorized so much of it that he basically didn’t need to read a whole lot of it, but to be able to read it was amazing to him.”
Even in the midst of pandemic and heartache, God continues to let us know He is here.