11 October 2021
Sight Loss Sunday
I am Kushma Massey, currently living in Brighton. I am originally from Delhi, India where I was born and brought up as a Methodist. I have been a Methodist throughout my life; my father was a Methodist Minister and so was my elder brother, in a family of 10 children. For 49 years, I worked as a teacher in four Methodist schools in India.
You can watch Kushma in conversation with the Revd Jill Marsh here.
It is very emotive to share about my sight loss alongside my faith journey. In 1989, I suddenly started to experience visual distortion in one eye which led to medical examination and the diagnosis of age-related macular degeneration along with early signs of glaucoma. However, the diagnosis was too late and advanced treatment was not available, so I lost all central vision in the eye. Thereafter for 17 years, by the grace of God, I continued to teach, read and do all my chores with the ‘good’ eye. In 2006, I unexpectedly experienced the same visual distortion in my second eye and was immediately rushed to the hospital. The doctors have since then given almost 42 injections in my ‘good’ eye and done cold laser treatment to save some vision.
Recently, I was certified as severely sight impaired/blind. Losing sight can be frightening, confusing and heartbreaking. I have lost my confidence to go out on my own, the ability to recognise faces from a distance and to read the Bible in (regular print) Urdu which I have done all my life. What has helped me keep going is the unconditional care of my dear daughter and my faith in God. Every morning I am assured of God’s faithfulness and believe in His grace which enables me to see with my limited sight. My precious daughter takes care of me with utmost love and warmth.
I spend a lot of time memorising hymns and Bible passages in case I lose further vision. My favourite hymn which I enjoy singing is:
Be thou my vision, O Lord of my heart
Naught be all else to me, save that thou art
Thou my best thought, by day or by night
Waking or sleeping, thy presence my light
Jesus is indeed my light, I am never alone, and
His presence is with me every hour, every day.
Recently, I have been reading Christian literature in large print provided very kindly by the Torch Trust. I am also grateful to my church leadership team at Dorset Gardens Methodist Church, Brighton for making our church ‘sight-loss friendly’, ensuring that I (among others with limited vision) can continue to participate in worship and maintain fellowship with friends.
Please uphold me and all those with sight loss in your prayers.
Torch Trust enables churches across the UK to include people with sight loss in every aspect of church life.