Have Faith To See Follow This Example

Helen Keller, as a child with her amazing teacher, Annie Sullivan

Have faith to see. Here is an inspiring example to follow.

It is difficult to find in all the treasure-house of biographies a life story more thrilling, dramatic, and fascinating than that of Helen Keller. I am convinced Helen Keller was a woman of both faith and action, despite her inability to see or hear from the age of two. Seriously? Can you imagine even giving up one of these God-given gifts? I cannot.

For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse. Romans 1:20

“In one of Helen Keller’s letters she told Bishop Brooks that she had always known about God. even before she had any words. Even before she could call God anything, she knew God was there. She did not know what it was. God had no name for her–nothing had a name for her. She had no concept of a name. But in her darkness and isolation, she knew, somehow, she was not alone. Someone was with her. She felt God’s Love. And when she received the gift of language and heard about God, she said she already knew.” from Phillips Brooks and Helen Keller.

Think On That! WOW! I love during our quietest times and in our greatest adversities, God makes His presence known to us.

A prolific author, Keller was well-traveled and outspoken in her convictions. A member of the Socialist Party of America and the Industrial Workers of the World, she campaigned for women’s suffragelabor rightssocialismantimilitarism, and other similar causes. She was inducted into the Alabama Women’s Hall of Fame in 1971 and was one of twelve inaugural inductees to the Alabama Writers Hall of Fame on June 8, 2015. Keller proved to the world that deaf people could all learn to communicate and that they could survive in the hearing world. She also taught that deaf people are capable of doing things that hearing people can do. One of the most famous deaf people in history, she is an idol to many deaf people in the world.

Based on Keller’s autobiography, published in 1903,  The Miracle Worker was first performed as a play (1957) and later became a movie (1962). The story is about how Anne Sullivan had an amazing impact on Helen’s life as her teacher. At only 20 years of age, Sullivan showed great maturity and ingenuity in teaching Keller and worked hard with her stubborn pupil, bringing both women much acclaim. Sullivan even helped Keller write her autobiography.

I have loved the inspiring story of Helen Adams Keller, born June 27, 1880 for decades. I tend to give away a lot of books after I have read them, but my paper back copy of The Story Of My Life will stay a part of my personal library forever. Did you know? Keller’s birthplace in West Tuscumbia, Alabama is now a museum.

Helen Adams Keller (June 27, 1880-June 1, 1968)

I am wondering. Has this post caused you to recall a special soul that you’ve admired? It may be a well-known person, like Helen Keller, someone in your community, or even a family member. Whose life example are you following as you go through your days?

Previous Posts You May Have Missed:

Common Warriors: Part One

Common Warriors: Part Two

The Beauty Of Sight

Rules Of The Red Rubber Ball

What’s Happiness? What’s Joy?

Four Questions For God

Fighter, Jules Furr Takes Her Leave

Standing At The Crossroads, Trying To Read The Signs

Your Beautifully, Messy, Complicated Life Story Matters

Brooke Ellison

Wrestling And Seeking

The Beauty Of Sight

blind woman

Have you ever thought for very long what life might be like for you without your sight?

Do you, like me, sometimes find it hard to see in the dark?

Recently, I ran across a story that got me thinking about this reality. Of course, we all know the story of Helen Keller.

Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see a shadow.” Helen Keller

Her story, as well her countless quotes have inspired multitudes through the years since her birth in 1880. Keller’s life completely changed the attitudes of many towards those with blindness and/or deafness. Did you know? Helen Keller, though both deaf and blind, graduated from Radcliffe College in 1904 at the age of 24 and went onto author sixty-seven books?

More recently, a woman by the name of Anna Mae Pennica was born blind in 1919. In 1982 the Los Angeles Times carried a story of Mrs. Pennica, sixty-two-year-old at the time. At age 47, she married a man she met in a Braille class; and for the first fifteen years of their marriage he did the seeing for both of them until he completely lost his vision to retinitis pigmentosa. Mrs. Pennica had never seen the green of spring or the golden, orangish hues of a sunset…

Then in October, 1981 Dr. Thomas Pettit of the Jules Stein Eye Institute of UCLA performed surgery to remove the rare congenital cataracts from the lens of her eyes and Mrs. Pennica saw for the first time ever! Imagine! She had lived for 62 years without the beauty of sight.

The LORD gives sight to the blind. The LORD lifts up those who are weighed down. The LORD loves the righteous.” Psalm 146:8 

The newspaper account does not record her initial response, but it does tell us that she found that everything was “so much bigger and brighter” then she ever imagined….

Since that day Mrs. Pennica has hardly been able to wait to wake up in the morning, splash her eyes with water, put on her glasses, and enjoy the changing morning light. Her vision is almost 20/30- good enough to pass a driver’s test.

Think how wonderful it must have been for Anna Mae Pennica when she looked for the first time at the faces she had only felt, or when she saw the kaleidoscope of a pacific sunset or a tree waving its branches or a bird in flight.

It is a terrible thing to see and have no vision.” Helen Keller 

The beauty of physical sight is wonderful. And the miracle of seeing for the first time can hardly be described.

Colorful flower bouquet from red roses for use as background. Closeup.
Imagine being Mrs. Pennica??? What do you think you would want to see first? a mountainside with red and yellow changing foilage, a deer running through the forest, your child’s brown eyes, red roses, the sun setting over the lake?

Autumn scene. Fall. Trees and leaves in sun light

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Close your eyes for just a moment imagining

what a life would be like without the beauty of sight.

I am the Light of the world. So if you follow me, you won’t be stumbling through the darkness, for living light will flood your path.” John 8:12

I will bet that you are as grateful as

I am to have eyes to see all that is before us.