By Pastor Brandon
If you receive (and read) Friedens’ prayer e-mails, you are aware that my left retina tore in two places last week. I had a laser procedure on Thursday, July 1, to repair these tears and to strengthen the rest of the retina in an attempt to prevent further tearing or detachment. This was a very concerning development, especially because my right retina detached and tore in six places in February 2020, and the vision in that eye is permanently damaged. Thankfully, my left retina is currently stable, and vision in my left eye is improving daily and isn’t far from where it was prior to last week’s tears.
The reality is that my eyesight isn’t very good and that, apart from a miracle or some sort of transplant that isn’t currently available, it probably won’t improve (except for the healing I’m experiencing after last week’s laser procedure). I’m thankful, though, to currently have a functional level of eyesight to do most things I want to do, and technology like Kindles and iPads can provide an added layer of assistance. You may have noticed during the past year that I’ve been using a small binder for preaching rather than a Bible. The reason is because of eyesight; I can’t read a large-print Bible consistently enough for reading publicly, but the binder enables me to print out my notes and Scriptures in large font for readability. I anticipate the likelihood of transitioning to a Kindle or iPad for preaching sometime – perhaps in a few weeks or a few years. When that time comes, it won’t be because I prefer fancy technology over a physical Bible; it will be because of readability.
I appreciate the outpouring of care, notes, and prayers over the past week. The support of the Friedens Family has always been a major encouragement to me and my family. Thank you very much. I pray we will be a church family that is proactive in reaching out whenever we see someone who is facing a difficulty. I also pray we will be a church where people feel the freedom to share the challenges they are facing. After all, we are called to “weep with those who weep” (Romans 12:15) and to “carry one another’s burdens” (Galatians 6:2), and our tagline includes “authentic relationships” as one of our hallmarks. Again, thank you for your care for me as I’ve faced challenges during the past week and through the years.