A friend of mine is writing a devotional, and one of the sections of her book talks about deserts. I was reading over her portion about mirages, how they are simply a trick of the light. Mirages are real, she says and show up on film, but it is our perception that thinks it is one thing when it is another.
As a person who is blind, I understand this concept but can not say I have experienced it. I have no light perception. I have never had long distance vision. But, I’m wondering about the mirages that I can’t explain.
I lost what was left of my vision in the summertime. I was 21, it was the summer of 2000, and I was a newly wed. First, I started noticing that the lights looked dimmer. Daylight appeared as early morning or evening, the house seemed darker, and my left eye, the one I had some vision in was hurting pretty bad. I was born with glocoma, so I new the pain associated with it. Yet, this pain was worse than anything I had ever known.
Come to find out, the pressure in that eye had gone down to 4. The optic nerve was collapsing upon itself, and whatever vision was left had already vacated. What I was seeing was what my brain thought I should be seeing. Trouble was my brain forgot about time. Sunshine coming through the window after 10:00 PM, a burning lamp when the lamp was actually turned off, cloudy days when it was clear. Yep, my mind was playing tricks on me. I would nap during the day, wake up and think it was midnight because of what my brain “saw”. If I was sleepy, the day felt dark. If I was wide awake at 2:00 AM, my brain “saw” 11:00 AM. Disconcerting, I can tell you.
It’s been 18 years since I went totally blind, and I’m used to my crazy brain by now. I’ve learned, for the most part to ignore what I think I’m seeing and get on with my day or night. But, it makes it difficult to explain when someone asks those inevitable questions, “So, what is it like to be blind? Is it dark all the time, or is it like when I close my eyes?”
My oldest daughter started asking those questions yesterday, and it got me to thinking about it, especially when I read about mirages this morning. Also makes me remember that our senses, while awesome and useful, can’t always be trusted. More often than not, we must trust what we know to be truth and set aside our feelings in order to succeed.
I heard a story a few days ago about an orientation and mobility instructor who taught his totally blind student a particular rout, knowing the building at the destination would soon be torn down. The student learned the rout backward and forward. Then, the day after the building was torn down, he told her to go to that particular destination. He followed her, and when she got there she found out what had happened. At first she was confused; the building should be there. But, maybe she had made a mistake? The student was relying on her senses. She didn’t hear the building or feel it. Then, she concluded that she had not made a mistake. The building was in fact gone. She didn’t hear it or feel it. She had to go on what she knew to be truth instead of how she felt.
Truth is where there is a will, there is a way. Truth is we can’t always trust our senses. Truth is we all have a purpose on this earth, and we can do anything we set our minds to. Don’t believe me? Then, you can’t and won’t ever.
FDR had polio and couldn’t walk and was president for 12 years.
Laura Ingalls Wilder was a pioneer farm wife and wrote books that have sold millions.
Helen Keller was blind and deaf and learn to speak.
Christine Ha is blind and won the title of Master Chef in 2012.
Want to succeed? Get out of your comfort zone and do the thing you think you can not do. How? Trust in the one who created you. He knows what you are capable of, and He, unlike your senses or your heart can be trusted to never fail you.
**Disclaimer** All errors, spelling and grammar belong solely to me. LOL