The Second Sunday After Christmas

I have recovered from my virus and I attended Worship Service this morning at St. Peter’s Anglican Church. [I missed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day Worship.]  However, it is still the Season of Christmas [The Twelve Days of Christmas] so I enjoyed singing Christmas carols & hymns this morning.

Today, I want to share with you a link to an article:

The article is entitled, The Triumph of the Eye, by Dr. Ralph Wood, a Baylor University Professor of Theology and Literature.  The article originally appeared in the journal, Christian Reflection, Issue 33, the theme of which was Women and the Church. This journal is published by Baylor University’s Department of PhilosophyCenter for Christian Ethics,

Both my daughter, Haley, and her husband, Daniel, have taken courses from Dr. Wood at Baylor University. Dr. Wood and his wife, Suzanne, have been friends and mentors to Daniel, Haley, Stephen, and me.

You can read more about Dr. Wood at

I hope you will thoughtfully read the entire article.  Here are some excerpts to whet your appetite:

. . . In a society ever more determined by visual appeal, men begin to desire women who conform to a certain shape and look perpetually young.  Women, in turn, strive to conform to eye-driven male desire.  How can we reshape imagination to prefer spiritual vision to mere sight?

. . . The giant success of the American cosmetic surgery business and the pervasiveness of eating disorders are markers of what C. S. Lewis calls the demonic triumph of the eye . . . .

. . . Regarding our face as our most distinguishing characteristic, C. S. Lewis insists that we cannot have true faces apart from true faith in God.  There are huge implications for overcoming the devilish deceits of the eye in our time . . .

. . . Almost all the icons of the Virgin Mary depict her with dark half-circles under her eyes.  Far from marring her beauty, these signs of suffering actually enhance her beauty. . . .

I was captivated by the truth which Dr. Wood so perfectly articulates.  I began the journey of the past six months with a prayer:  that pure silver would emerge out of the refining fire and that beauty would arise out of the ashes of suffering.  I imagine that I am not yet done with suffering and refining in this life.  However, I have been formed and transformed by the events of the past six months.  Therefore, today, I begin to spell my name differently, to signify the intention of my changed life:  seeking to become wise in vision, not sight, and having a new understanding of the concept of suffering and its relationship to beauty.

Coram Deo,


P. S.

Phase One of therapy is now over.  Four Rounds of Chemotherapy was the irreducible minimum.  Ideally, Dr. Carroll wanted me to have Six Rounds of Chemotherapy but, since three of the four rounds sent me to the Walk-In Clinic and two rounds sent me also to the ER, Stephen and I asked Dr. Carroll if we could stop after the Fourth Round.

Phase Two of therapy begins tomorrow morning, when Stephen & I travel to Gainesville, to Dr. Carroll’s office, where I will be infused with Herceptin, once every three weeks.  This Phase Two will continue until October, 2010.


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21 responses to “Vision

  1. Lindsey

    Just wanted to drop a line and say you remain in my prayers. Your posts are very much an encouragement to me.

    Lindsey Harrington

    • margopayne

      Dear Lindsey,

      Your comments and prayers are an incredible encouragement to me! I am thankful to know that my posts have been an encouragement to you.

      Coram Deo,

  2. Betsy Poepping

    Dear Margot:

    Loved the last post. What a wise man he is.

    Praying that the Herceptin will be kinder to your body…and always praying for your healing.

    Glad you had a good time with family this Christmas!


    • margopayne

      Dear Betsy,

      I am very gratified to know that you enjoyed the article: Please share it with folks!
      Thank you for your faithfulness in praying! Herceptin IS definitely kinder!

      Coram Deo,

  3. I’m so glad you’re done with chemo. You did it!
    Now, what’s the Herceptin like? Keep us updated and we’ll keep praying! 🙂 love you!

    • margopayne

      Dear Meredith,

      Thanks for rejoicing with me! The Herceptin is going fine; I do not even notice I am on it! Thanks for your faithful prayers! I am SO looking forward to time to share a cup’a and to get caught up!

      Coram Deo,

  4. Georgia

    Dear Holy Father,

    Please wash your and our beloved Margot in your wondrous love, peace, beauty, truth, life and in your holy joy and laughter…in your word…in your holy compassionate tender Presence…your very Being.

    Wash her thoroughly, every cell, molecule, atom, microparticle…wash her spirit, wash her soul, wash her body….from any cancer, anything that hinders or obscures Your LIFE in Margot, wash her more completely than any chemical treatment can.

    Fill her with visions, deep assurances and a holy witness of your gift of the impartation and incarnation of yourself into her. Fill her with a hope of a calling on her life. For Christ in Margot is the hope of glory, of bringing You glory, of revealing Your glory to the world.

    In the Name of Jesus Christ, Amen

    • margopayne

      Dear Georgia,

      Yet once again, I am astounded at your gift of articulated, thoughtful, and comprehensive prayer! I read your prayers with great anticipation. Thank you for the reminder that Christ is in me, the hope of glory . . . My life is hid in Christ.

      Coram Deo,


  5. This question phrases a key spiritual battle for me: “How can we reshape imagination to prefer spiritual vision to mere sight”?

    I’m 55, I see those creeping as well as not so subtle signs of aging. I checked out books on make-up, clothes, how to dress to look your best (sorry, those of you who know me are wondering about this) 🙂

    But do you know, I had a blessed experience. A woman who works at an office I’m in is quite visually impaired. When we met a while back and began to talk, I realized that she didn’t know what the heck I looked like that day–was my hair right, did I wear the right blouse with that sweater?–and I felt such a peace as I received her obvious good will and positive spirit toward me.

    That was a rude awakening. How much mental and physical energy and time was I spending on my appearance? Was I spending time alone with our Lord, dressing myself with the Word, refreshing myself with Prayer, and praising Him for the opportunity to do so?

    And doesn’t this apply to any superficial aspect of my life?

    Who am I trying to please? Or impress?

    “How can we reshape imagination to prefer spiritual vision to mere sight”? The answer for me is, “I can’t.” The glorious answer is, “He can.” Thanks be to God.

    And thanks be to Margot, who shares her spiritual life with us, and encourages me in my own spiritual journey.


    • margopayne

      Dear Susan,

      Thank you for your enthusiasm for and thoughtful response to Dr. Wood’s article!
      It pleases me that you benefitted from an article that so greatly impressed me with its truth.

      Coram Deo,

  6. Kathy Ciarlariello

    Dear Margot,

    Greetings in the Holy name of Jesus Christ! I hope this letter finds you well.

    I am anxious to read more of Dr. Wood’s article. Thank you for sharing. I think everyone should read this. Its quite appropriate to our sinful condition.

    We continue to pray for you and Steve. You are beautiful, and I am thankful for you. Keep running the race with perseverance! Hebrews 12:1…

    Love always,

    • margopayne

      Dear Kathy,

      I am glad to hear that you intend to read more of Dr. Wood’s article! It guarantee it is worth your time!
      Thank you for your faithful prayers!

      Coram Deo,

  7. Tracie Barnard


    We continue to hold you (and Stephen) in our hearts and prayers. Please know that whenever you are in Gainesville, should you feel up to it, I am quite sure that the “elder” Barnards would enjoy time with you.

    With love,

    • margopayne

      Dear Tracie,
      Thanks for the continued prayer! We think about the Barnards every time we travel to Gainesville! We would certainly love to see them!
      Loved the photo of Nate and Luke with Santa!
      Coram Deo,

  8. Margo
    I hope your day has begun well.
    I am grateful that you have set up this blog. It puts me in contact with other Christians with whom I see “eye to eye”. (That Vision Divine!)
    Dr. Petty recently taught on the subject of Time.
    Time is God’s creation, therefore, what I do with my time is a stewardship issue.
    Reading of your physical and spiritual journey, I appreciate the Time you have given over to God to keep this blog going. It is a gift to me, and I hope a healing ministry for you.
    Thank you,

    • margopayne


      Thank you for the encouraging words. The writing of my blog has been therapeutic for me. To know that it is also beneficial to others is extremely gratifying. Glory to God.

      Coram Deo,

  9. hello! i finally read this article…
    thanks for sending the ephipany letter and for the explanation of the newfound “t” on the end of your name. all very good.
    i find myself almost in tears at your article. my 3 girls, growing in a world like this. how do you find reprieve from such a society? i don’t think it is possible.
    i only hope and pray that i can succeed in raising them confident and un-yielding to the eyes (their own included) of this world.
    an extremely powerful article. thank you for sharing.

    • margopayne

      Dear Meredith,

      Thank you for taking the time to read that article. To know that you also thought it was powerful is very gratifying to me. The truth in that article will help you to guide your three precious girls. It is not impossible to raise your three girls in this society. We can talk about this when next we meet. Do not lose hope. Continue to pray.

      Coram Deo,

  10. Elizabeth Clarke

    Hi Margot,

    My mom (Colette Clarke) told me about your courageous battle with cancer and directed me to your blog. I’ve been through surgery for brain cancer twice in the last 4 years and have been blessed with a good recovery and prognosis. I know God’s grace in the face of illness, and my husband Steve and I will be praying for your treatment, recovery, comfort and peace.

    Your words here are so encouraging and uplifting–thank you for sharing.

    Beth and Steve 🙂

    • margopayne

      Dear Elizabeth,

      Thank you for reading and commenting. You are a fellow comrade. I praise God for your good recovery and prognosis! I am very thankful for your prayers. Your encouraging words fill me with strength.

      Coram Deo,

  11. Pingback: Revision: “About Margot” | Margo's Corner

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