I’ve been thinking about blindness a lot lately. It began during Lent and it persists. What is the world like when you cannot see it? Other senses heighten, of course. But there is much more than this. My first friend that was “legally blind” came into our family’s life when my brother and I were teenagers. I can’t remember the circumstance of their meeting but I remember when Nuna (my brother’s nickname) brought him home for an overnight visit. We played basketball. That boy was good at basketball. They made a few improvisions in the way they did everything but mostley they just played. It was clear that Tim could not see well; it was equally obvious that he could live well.
My neighbor of 12 years, Mary Lizzie Manier was my next experience…many years later. She had macular degeneration. We were together every day. Her front porch was our “office” for girl talk, sharing wisdom and telling stories. I still miss her. We would go out a lot. neither of us had kids and the age difference (she in her 80’s; me in my 30’s) was nothing. Our senses of adventure, love and friendship were well matched. She helped me with many things in life. Wisdom and joy on ordinary days. And I helped her: I checked her lipstick before we left the house. I helped her find things in her kitchen that had been misplaced. I drove; she chatted. We kept confidences and prayed for each other. We were a perfect match.
I’ve closed my eyes a few times while I’ve been here in Guatemala. What would it be like if you could not see the colors? What would you think when you heard the fireworks and trumpets? What would inspire you when you passed through the markets or walked into an incensed filled cathedral?
Most days I engage in situations where spiritual blindness is present. It is part of what I do, what I’m called to touch. Two things linger in my mind along with all the answers I do not have on blindness today. One: Jesus asks us to trust him at a depth that requires walking blindfolded through life. Two: Although I’m so very far from it, I want to live that deep. My hand is open; Christ’s fits right in it.