It has often been said that a picture is worth a thousand words. For many of us, , some of the greatest works of art are those drawn from the seemingly infinite reservoir of vocabulary. Throughout my forty-plus years, I have invariably found myself standing in front of some visual wonder next to a sighted person who exclaims in a voice awash with tears, "Oh, if only you could see this!"
Many times, I have stifled the urge to offer a snarky remark in return. Trying my best to wrap my irritation in a bundle of enthusiasm, I usually opt for the more appropriate response of, "I can see through your eyes."
My effort to console the grief of another over that which is perceived to be my problem is met with mixed reactions: an awkward chuckle, an uneasy silence; an awkward embrace; a pat on the hand or an exclamatory, "God bless you, honey!" Sometimes, my sighted companion will begin describing visual characteristics to me.
Whether the description is beneficial to me or not, I keep striving to offer encouragement, "There, now we can see it together!"
Reflecting on these kinds of experiences, I thank God for the people in my life (blind and sighted with different abilities and disabilities), who refrain from wasting their words on pity. My mind's eye beholds the memory of a beautiful sunset described spontaneously to me over dinner or frosted glasses of tea. I thank God for the shopping trips with friends who simply take a little more time so that I can also enjoy the day of standing in front of store windows, examining delicate items on glass shelves or flipping through clothes hangers. In the treasure trove of letters written by my friends, I immerse myself in the vivid descriptions of outings, the crisp mountain air, the sounds of ocean waves, the scent of evergreen at Christmastime. Thousands of words enrich my life and I am grateful for each one
Recently, I was asked to speak a word of God's blessing for a very dear couple as they celebrated their fiftieth wedding anniversary with family and friends. Our outdoor festivities were interrupted when, literally out of the blue, a surprise thunderstorm sent all of us packing into the kitchen, dining room and living room of our gracious hosts. The house filled with laughter as guests of all ages continued to enjoy a truly memorable evening.
The sun was shining again as the party drew to a close. We walked outside and were greeted by a gentle shower of raindrops. Then, the air was filled with delightful surprise as everyone beheld the most beautiful double rainbow that anyone had seen in a long time.
Caught up in the excitement, I knew beyond the shadow of a doubt that I was among friends. I handed off my phone to the person standing next to me and asked her to take a picture. No one asked me why I wanted a picture. No one asked me jokingly if I could see the rainbow, and no one bemoaned the fact that I couldn't see it. Descriptive words flowed effortlessly from those around me, and I was as excited as everyone else. I truly felt included and accepted, just as I am!
What is the Kingdom of Heaven like? Well, as I see it, the kingdom of Heaven is like a group of people--blind and sighted, on different walks of life--who gathered one day to celebrate life and love. Together, we reached for a rainbow; and, together we caught it!
The lyrics of the song "Vision Through Your Eyes,"* which I penned over twenty years ago, are just as heartfelt for me now as they were back then.
"When walking down our different roads we meet again,
You can be sure to find me as I've always been ...
Reaching for that rainbow, the everlasting harmony
Of colors around us every day,
And when people ask me what makes life worth living this way,
I will tell them of the vision through your eyes ... "
*"Vision Through Your Eyes," Music and Lyrics ©1997 by Laurel Jean Walden/ASCAP
Stay tuned for more posts like this one. Until next time, God bless you and keep His Song in your heart!
©2018 by Laurel Jean Walden