Less than a year ago I had successful cataract surgery. Now I can see 20/20 without glasses or contact lenses for the first time since, oh, probably, the first grade, six years old. Though science explains the corrective lenses that were placed in my eyes, I still feel something miraculous about the whole experience. Little wonder that many times Jesus restored sight to the blind. Our vision is such a fundamental gift that he, of all people, would move to correct a disability so severe.
Helen Keller, born with all her faculties but stripped of sight and hearing at the age of two by an infection, is one of our most inspiring Americans. She recounts the day that her teacher, Anne Sullivan, got through to her the spelled out, in Sign language, word for “water.” This was the day that she learned that everything had a name. She writes, “Everything had a name, and each name gave birth to a new thought. As we returned to the house [from the well house] every object which I touched seemed to quiver with life. That was because I saw everything with the strange, new sight that had come to me. I learned a great many new words that day. It would have been difficult to find a happier child than I was as I lay in my crib at the close of that eventful day and lived over the joys it had brought me, and for the first time longed for a new day to come.” Yes, sight matters. If we lack physical sight, we certainly can still have spiritual sight. And it is clear that Helen Keller had spiritual sight, for she has had a broad, positive and inspirational influence in our society. Jesus’s miracles continue today, often through science (as in my case of cataract surgery) and through the blessing of other people (as for Helen Keller and her teacher Anne Sullivan). Being grateful for a day of new sight is a good way to spend time, as Helen’s words make clear. Tonight I take Helen’s words to heart, and with my new eyes, I anticipate a good new day tomorrow.