The blind man stands at the counter in front of me and asks his questions.
I wonder, really, how much he sees. As I speak, his eyes seem to be fixed on me, and he hangs on to every word I say. When I smile, he responds with a smile of his own. I suppose it’s probably a response to the inflection of my voice, but still, I have an unreasonable suspicion he is seeing me in his own way.
Later, he will sit down for a while and play a classical guitar in my store. I will be amazed by his technical ability and sensitivity to the music. Most folks who see the world more clearly will never be able to reach the level of his musicality. I include myself in that group.
But for now, I’m struggling to answer his questions.
“Is that stack switch an on-off arrangement? Can I use it as a kill-switch for an instant off?”
“How do you wire a guitar for stereo output?”
As I give him the benefit of my meager store of information, I realize he is not asking simply to tuck away the knowledge in his head. He has a project in mind which he is going to attempt for himself. He is going to build a guitar.
Without the advantage of sight. He will build a guitar.
He is blind, but he has a vision. A vision he sees clearly.
After he leaves, I sit and reflect. This man, with no light by which to see, is going to take individual parts and assemble them to produce a complete instrument. He will then play music on that instrument–still in the dark.
I have assembled a guitar before. The lights were on, with extra lights focused on the small parts I needed to attach to the instrument. I even used a magnifier to see those parts with more clarity when necessary. With my eyes wide open, I struggled with the project from start to finish.
He will do it in the dark. Feeling his way.
I don’t write about my blind friend to belittle sighted readers, nor even to diminish my own deeds. I simply mean to encourage us to reach further. We all have challenges to overcome.
Your challenges aren’t the same as mine. Mine aren’t the same as his. Sometimes, even emotional challenges can loom large and cut off the light in much the same way that physical blindness does.
The darkness in our spirits can often be as profound as the physical lack of sight. We struggle simply to put one foot in front of the other.
Ultimately, in this physical world, we all–every single one of us–must live, and love, and achieve, guided by the light given us. Whether the blaze of a noonday sun, or the flicker of a candle from afar, we walk in that light.
The same applies to our spiritual walk, with one incredible difference. Here we can only walk in His light. His light has no sign of darkness, nor loss of vision, at all. As we walk in the light, His light, we walk in tandem with other travelers, who also count on Him for strength and salvation.
I like the idea of having fellow travelers with whom to walk, sharing our visions with each other, and helping others over the rough spots. Your strengths are not mine, nor my weaknesses yours, but together we can work to reach the goal.
The blind man has vision.
I’m just beginning to see the light.
“Death is no more than passing from one room into another. But there’s a difference for me you know. Because in that other room, I shall be able to see.”
(Helen Keller ~ blind American author/lecturer ~ 1880-1968 )
“The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.”
(Isaiah 9:2 ~ NIV)
© Paul Phillips. He’s Taken Leave. 2015. All Rights Reserved.