For we walk by faith, not by sight. II Corinthians 5:7
Jesus said, “When he [the shepherd] has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. John 10:4
Recently William came to see me.
I glanced up as he was approaching the counter.
“Hello, Tamera. How are you today?” he responded quickly. (I broke into a smile; he is one of my favorites.)
We chatted for a couple more minutes. He and his wife wished me a great day. As he walked away I was very aware I had just experienced something quite extraordinary.
William cannot see. Glasses do not aid him. Laser surgery will not help him. There is no cure.
William is blind.
William recognizes me by my voice. I only have to speak a few words, and he discerns who I am. Even though I am invisible to him, he knows me. He has memorized the sound of my voice. He knows its accent, dialect, and its cadence. Often he will even recognize my voice on the phone.
Sadly, William is blind. Someday he shall see, but in this here and in this now he is blind.
William, however, has honed his other senses. His hearing is acute, keen, sensitive, and very discerning.
It has to be.
Sometimes William will walk places alone—with only his cane and his shadowy, murky vision to aid him. He can do this because his hearing has been honed. He hears what most of us miss. He hears the layers of sound and the meshed symphony of noise and is able to quickly discern and select what he needs to hear.
William is only concerned about the immediate space around him—the reach of his cane. In the radius of his cane he listens and discerns voices, activities, instructions, dangers, warnings and greetings. He registers sounds far beyond him, but he doesn't attempt to navigate the corner that is twenty feet ahead of him. William takes one step at a time.
For now, in this world, I am blind. My Father is invisible to me. I cannot see his form; I cannot see his figure.
But I can hear his voice. I can recognize and select his voice from the chaos and din around me. It is possible.
William has learned to walk by faith.
I want to be like William.