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Blind Benefits

There was this architect on ‘60 Minutes by the name of Chris Downey that ‘lost his sight in 2008 after brain surgery. But instead of letting blindness ruin his career1’, God gave him wisdom for architecture that led him to hear and experience architecture on a whole other level. He listens to buildings and what’s going on around them. He listens for things like cracks in the ground and the acoustics in the structure. He then takes what he hears and uses it to draft blueprints for stairwells, a Microsoft facility and a public transit system; all of which accommodate the blind.

I watched in awe as he told of how the day after his surgery, a well-meaning hospital employee asked him about his career alternatives. He hadn’t even had time to process everything that was happening but soon realized that he would have to figure something out. But instead of considering the alternatives, he went back to his office thirty days after his surgery as he was determined to figure out how to do his job, blind. Thereafter, he located a braille embossing printer for his blueprints which allowed him to make the needed modifications. When you think about it, what he’s doing isn’t only unheard of, but life-changing because he’s now making travel for the blind, easy. Let me say that again. A blind man is making travel for the blind easy. That within itself is an oxymoron because you’d think that the blind don’t travel and should be confined to their homes. But when you search the scriptures you'll discover that even blind Bartimaeus didn’t stay in the house. Even he, ‘…sat by the road begging.' (Mk. 10:46) And dare I mention the two blind men that followed Jesus in Matthew 9:27. Like Mr. Downey, they too were out and about.

One Eye

As I watched the interview, tears began to flow because I realized how much God loves Mr. Downey. I was so thankful that he didn’t let the devil talk him out of what God created him to; even if he has to do it blind. But you may be wondering why I was so taken by the piece? It’s because when I saw him, I saw myself. At the age of six I was diagnosed with Stage IV Retinablastoma.

Retinablastoma is a tumor that attacks the retina. Because it was in its advanced stages, I had to undergo emergency surgery and was told that if I survived, I’d either be blind or have to live in a vegetative state. I survived the surgery but lost my right eye. As a result, I now wear a prosthesis. So when I saw Mr. Downey and the others, I was overwhelmed for two reasons.

One, because I felt a sense of guilt, and the other because they felt like my blind family. And because they do, my heart went out because I wanted them to see…like me…which is why I felt guilty.

Guilty that I can see. Guilty because I know they’d be thrilled to be able to have my ‘one eye’. The ‘one eye’ that I get teased for. The ‘one eye’ people make fun of, is the ‘one eye’ they wished they had. Guilty that I have the best of both worlds. I can see but I have blind benefits, as strange as that might sound. Blind benefits like the fact I hear unusually well. I process information really fast and I move with precision. All of which most blind people have in common. Therefore, my heart went out to my blind family because the blackness they see all the time, I don’t even notice. My prosthesis doesn’t bother me because I can see out of ‘one eye’. Something that they can’t do. And though I'm not totally blind, I am legally blind which means I feel a closeness to them. I just have the luxury to be apart of both worlds; the world of the sighted and the world of the blind. I’m blind, but I can see. Let me say that again. I am blind, but I can see. Only God could have made that possible. So I say to you, though you're sighted, you still may not be able to see what’s going to happen next month or next week. But know that if like Mr. Downey, you just listen close, God will give you the solution to that problem. You may have been totally blind sighted by that situation. But if you'll take a moment and wait on God, He'll give you a way to maneuver in and through the darkness of that situation. Close your eyes and listen to God because He just may give you a way to see that problem from a totally different perspective.

Pray this with me: Heavenly Father, I thank You for my sight and the fact that I can see. But Lord, this situation has been trying to talk me into considering another alternative. Lord, help me to walk by faith and not by sight. Help me to not be moved by what I see and please show me how to spend more time listening for You. In Jesus’ name.

In case you missed it, here's the link to the interview. Copyright 2019 © Real Issues Publishing®. All rights reserved.

SOURCE: 1 – 60 Minutes YouTube channel

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