My neighbor slid off his roof and shattered his ankle. "What a blessing," I heard his wife say on more than one occasion.
I'm sure when he awoke with a carbon fiber rod drilled through his heel to reset the bones, neither he nor his wife thought it was a blessing.
The 17 year old girl who lives up the street from me, swerved off the road, landed in a ditch and blew her tire. "That was lucky," her Dad told me as he pried the shredded wheel away from the bent rim. The restitution she had to do for missing school that day didn't seem much like luck to her.
Twenty years ago, I went to Oakland California to visit the LDS temple there. While I was inside, my right eye filled up with blood. Six months later that eye was being removed from my head. I was on a constant morphine drip for weeks. The other eye was burned with lasers and permanently scarred. From that point on...I was blind.
That wasn't the end though. I lost more of my sight to a cataract and finally all of it to glaucoma.
I will never drive again, see my children's faces, or look into my husband's beautiful blue eyes. I'll never enjoy another sunset, see a baby's smile, or look in the mirror. What Luck!
All those years ago, I couldn't always appreciate what a blessing blindness was going to be. Things that aren't important don't distract me. Clothes, hair, fancy cars, pretty houses. The list is unending. I hear laughter. I feel love. I bask in the touch of other people. I absorb friendship, conversation and affection like its water in the desert.
My husband pointed out to me. If I hadn't gone blind. I couldn't have qualified for the insurance coverage I needed to spend weeks in the hospital with premature babies. I wouldn't have had the financial ability to get either my pancreas or kidney transplants and I'd probably be dead by now. All of the gifts and blessings in my life have stemmed from what most people think of as tragedy. Misfortune is simply God working miracles and humans being impatient.
My neighbor didn't break his neck when he fell off that roof. His wife recognized that she could have been a widow instead of a nurse for a few weeks. What a blessing!
The teenager up the street from me, ended up a little inconvenienced, instead of splattered across the highway because she crashed into that ditch instead of rolling the car the opposite direction. Her Dad knew a spoiled tire was nothing compared to a lost daughter. What Luck!
Life is hard. Its also full of joy, people who love you and more beauty than broken. The ability to see the good in the midst of all the darkness is a blessing. If the darkness is too thick? If the doubt weighs you down? Imagine what misery would await you if you weren't so lucky.