How To See for the First Time
In his book, An Anthropologist on Mars, neurologist Oliver Sacks tells about Virgil, a man who had been blind from early childhood. When he was 50, Virgil underwent surgery and was given the gift of sight. But as he and Dr. Sacks found out, having the physical capacity for sight is not the same as seeing.
Virgil’s first experiences with sight were confusing. He was able to make out colors and movements, but arranging them into a coherent picture was more difficult. Over time he learned to identify various objects, but his habits–his behaviors–were still those of a blind man.
Dr. Sacks asserts, “One must die as a blind person to be born again as a seeing person. It is the interim, the limbo . . . that is so terrible.”
To truly see Jesus and his truth means more than observing what he did or said, it means a change of identity.
Terry Seufferlein Norman, Oklahoma.
The Shoemaker’s Awl
An old shoemaker’s awl is on prominent display in the French Academy of Science. That awl fell from the shoemaker’s table one day and put out the eye of his 9-year-old son. Soon, the child became blind in both eyes and had to attend a school for the blind. At this school, the child learned to read by handling large, carved, wooden blocks.
When the shoemaker’s son grew up, he thought of a new way for the blind to read. It involved punching tiny dots onto paper, and Louis Braille devised this new method using the same awl that had blinded him in his youth.
When Patricia Houch Sprinkle told that story in Guideposts in 1978, she suggested that there would be a falling awl in each of our lives. She added, “When it strikes, some of us ask, ‘Why did God allow this to happen?’ Others ask, ‘How will God use it?’”