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.
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