“Learning to See”
As morning light seeped into my bedroom window, I felt its warmth upon my face. For one glorious moment, I could have sworn I saw brilliant color dancing before me. My heart leaped for joy…
Then I opened my eyes.
Like every morning before this one, I found myself overwhelmed by utter darkness. Engulfed in a lonely sense of not knowing – not seeing, I moaned.
As was my morning routine, I slammed my fist against the wall and screamed for a long, long time. “Why?” The sound was bloodcurdling, which comforted me somehow.
The neighbors really seemed to enjoy this part.
After thirty years of groping in darkness, I was operating out of mere habit. But this morning was different. This time, Someone answered.
A Voice, pure as water and tender as fine silk, spoke from the black void.
“Why, you ask? Because Henry, you’ve inspired nearly every person you’ve ever met. Because you’ve taught them to see the world – to see life itself – through spiritual eyes. You lost your eyes, Henry, because the LORD had need of them.”
I felt confusion crease the lines of my face. “But…couldn’t I have made just as much of a difference as a seeing person?”
“Not in the same way.”
“But why did it have to be me?”
“Oh Henry, very few would have handled this situation as you have. I know that. You’re a very special person.”
“But…my attitude has been terrible! I’ve cried and shouted and questioned…how can it be that I’ve helped the world somehow?”
“Because you’ve carried on. It has been so very hard, but you’ve lived your life. Do you remember the young lady you met at the library two weeks ago?”
Curiosity tinged my voice. “Yes, a very angry teenager who shoved me and nearly fell apart when she realized I was blind. She couldn’t believe that a person like me would go to a library!”
The Voice seemed to smile. “That angry teenager has a name. Anna. She went to the library that day to meet her boyfriend – to tell him she was expecting. The boyfriend never came…”
A lump formed deep in my throat. “How – how terrible.”
“Yes,” the Voice went on. “She was sitting there that day, thinking of ending her life. We almost lost her forever. But then she met you. Do you remember what you said to her, Henry?”
I furrowed my brow. “I – I invited her to church!” I laughed.
“Yes,” the Voice affirmed. “And after meeting you, she decided that her life might not be so bad after all. That if you could find joy in the midst of darkness, perhaps so could she. She went to church that Wednesday, and every Wednesday since.”
Something changed within my heart – a ray of warmth, piercing the cool darkness. “That’s wonderful…”
The Voice grew softer. “Henry, Anna asked Me into her heart last week. Her eternal future is secure…because of you. No one else could have caught her attention as you did. No one else could have helped me save her…only you, Henry. Only you…just as you are. Now do you see?”
Normally I would have scoffed at such a question. Many a former friend had asked if I could “see” something, or had told me to “look on the bright side,” forgetting that I had never looked at anything but blackness. Normally I would react in anger, but the Voice was sincere, and seemed to know exactly what He was asking. And I understood just what he meant.
“Yes,” I whispered. “Yes, I think I finally see.”
“Good,” the Voice said simply. Then He was gone, but I no longer felt alone. Instead, warm light filled my spirit and danced across the spaces of my mind. Suddenly, my entire existence – bleak as it had been at times – made perfect sense.
My anger evaporated like an ocean mist, replaced by a deep sense of awe. Trembling, I fell to my knees and worshipped the God of Light.
“Thank You,” I said, realizing with a chill that I had never before prayed those words.
In response, the light filtering through my curtains grew warmer, causing my mind to explode with visions of color.
Soaking in the glory of the moment, I smiled.
This work of flash fiction was based on the Scripture Prompt from Luke 19:34, “And they said, ‘Because The Lord has need of it.'”
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