Libby and Daredevil – Eyes Are Opened

When I received the e-mail back in 2012 about a little girl named Elizabeth, that was the first time I had ever thought about raising a blind child. Being a pastor, my thoughts went to scriptures that talk about being blind. I thought about how unbelief is compared to spiritual blindness and belief is compared to spiritual sight. I thought about the miracles of Jesus. He had healed people who were blind. In John chapter 9 he had healed a man who was blind from birth. At the end of John chapter 9, Jesus mentions spiritual blindness and spiritual sight.

With Libby’s condition, we were told that there was a possibility in the first few years of life that she could gain some sight. Since her condition is a problem with the optic nerves, there are times when those optic nerves develop to allow some sight. That has not been the case with Libby. According to the doctors, she was born with complete blindness and that is still the case now at 6 years old. Barring an incredible medical development or a miracle of God, it looks like Libby will go through her entire life completely blind.

What has surprised me in recent months is that my eyes have been opened. Before Libby there were many things that I simply did not notice. I am much more aware of people with disabilities and I am learning a lot about visual impairments. In many ways I am amazed at how Libby understands the world around her. In many ways she is behind other children. She still is not able to feed herself and her ability to talk is behind other children of her age. She speaks in short phrases and it is difficult for her to pronounce words. When we see her grow in her development we rejoice.

School has been a great blessing for her. She has all kinds of specialists who work with her. One day we went to observe. It was incredible to see her walking down the hall with a pre-cane device. She still needed help but she was navigating through the school. We loved watching her vision teacher work with her. She had Libby working with all kinds of textures, feeling braille, singing songs, and working with a braille typewriter. Two of her teachers set up a special field trip for us over the summer. We went to a farm specially set up for kids with special needs. Libby loved listening to the animal sounds and touching the animals. She really loved the goats. She laughed really hard and tried to imitate the sound a goat makes.

I can see ways that God is blessing Libby and I can see ways that God is blessing us as we care for Libby. I think about God’s words in Isaiah 42:16, “I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them.” I see God caring for Libby and I also see him caring for us. He has opened our eyes to many new experiences. We had been figuratively blind to an aspect of the world around us and now we are very aware of matters regarding visual impairments.

I think of the natural spiritual condition in which we are all born. We are all born with sin. We are all born spiritually blind. And yet, human beings tend to think that we are just fine. We think that we have sight. We don’t always notice our spiritual problem. That is what Jesus pointed out in the end of John chapter 9. So many people don’t realize that they are on a path that is away from God. My wife and I were only vaguely aware of visual impairments before our daughter and now our eyes have been opened. We are learning many things and we are meeting all kinds of people that we might not have met if it had not been for Libby.

We needed a life changing event to open our eyes. It is the same when it comes to our spiritual condition. We need God to step into our lives and point us in the right direction. God the Holy Spirit accomplishes this in many people by creating faith through the Word of God and the water of baptism. After faith is created, spiritual eyes are open and a new world is revealed. The problem of sin is fully realized and the path to heaven is made clear. Through faith we see Jesus and what he accomplished to save us. We give thanks that God works in our hearts to overcome our spiritual blindness and to create spiritual sight.

For those of you who were hoping for an article that talked a lot about Daredevil, my apologies for waiting so long to mention him. I will wrap things up with a short Daredevil comparison. With Daredevil and Libby, it looks like neither of them will gain sight in this life. And yet, in a sense, their eyes are opened. Daredevil sees the world in a different way. He sees through sound and touch just like Libby. He has a special “radar sense” which allows him to navigate. I know that is a fictional thing but I still wonder if Libby has something like that as she moves around our house. Daredevil has his eyes open to the world of superheroes and supervillains. I wait to see how Libby’s eyes will be open to various experiences. While I wait, I marvel at how God has opened my eyes to a new world.

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