I met Kindness and Mercy today and they were so, so very beautiful
I saw Kindness and Mercy today as I drove in traffic down Frederick Street, and oh what a beautiful sight it was. As I drove along, there was this young woman whose eyes were in the form of a cane and of unfamiliar voices to find her way around. She was blind and depended on the cane she had and on the kindness of others to guide her.
As she walked along trusting in her cane , someone who was coming out of a building, observed her and stopped, allowing her to pass before opening the door. The visually impaired person went by without really knowing what could have happened.
As she continued along Frederick Street, she got to the corner of Duke Street where she needed to cross. The traffic was so heavy that I was pretty much driving along at the same pace that she was walking. So I stopped in the middle of the intersection and indicated to the driver who was coming perpendicular to me to hold a second and allow her to pass. As I did this, a man who was about to go into his vehicle went over to the blind girl, and assisted her across the road. As she got to the other side, she said a loud and heartfelt “thank you” , and continued on her way.
As she continued, she got to another intersection where a motorist who too was approaching that intersection stopped his car, and very instinctively opened his door and with his engine running, went over to help the blind girl to cross. By now, tears welling up in me for I have truly seen Kindness and Mercy today.
I asked my wife who was with me, what it must be like to be blind. I wondered if I could move around my little house completely blindfolded for 5 minutes without injuring myself. I wondered what that would be like. It occurred to me that even though they may have a heightened sense of awareness, the visually impaired are very heavily dependent on trust. They must trust in things and in people that they cannot see. That is a very tall order. It reminded me of an exercise I was part of many years ago on a retreat, where we were sent out in pairs. One person was blindfolded and had to walk about the compound with the other person acting as their guide. I can tell you that for me, when I was the blindfolded person, it was very difficult to trust my guide. Even though I would have known them very very well and under normal circumstances would have trusted them, I could not help but second-guess almost everything that they were telling me. My movement was very timid to say the least.
As I looked at this visually impaired young lady, I saw a tremendous amount of Kindness and Mercy flowing all around her, and I know deep in my heart that there is so much that I can learn from her and from other visually impaired persons. In fact, there is a tremendous amount that Christians in general can learn from the visually impaired. As Christians, we are called to trust in God whom we cannot see – even though I may want to contest that statement or the thought that we cannot see God, since he is so powerfully present in so many things, events and circumstances that surround us. For example, right now in Trinidad, we have Poui trees that are blooming all over the country, in spite of the extreme heat we have been experiencing. Just seeing the beauty of these trees, and the majesticness of their brilliant yellow flowers reminds me of God’s beauty, and bears testimony that God is present. Very often these days, driving along the waterfront to watch the sunset, we are graced with the beauty of creation, the beauty and the artistry of our God when he paints yet another awesome sunset right before our eyes. All of this bears testimony that God is so powerfully present in creation. So even though we may not be able to touch the person of God, we see him constantly all around us. Visually impaired persons cannot see this. They cannot see the beauty of the Poui trees. They cannot see the beauty of a sunrise nor that of a sunset. They cannot see the beauty of a starry sky. They cannot see the beauty of a new-born baby. But yet they can trust in people and in things and in circumstances that they cannot see! Isn’t that amazing!? They have to trust that when someone tells them it is okay to cross, that it really is ok. They trust that when someone comes and hold their hand to guide them across the road, that that person will guide them safely and not mean them any harm. Why can’t we then who are Christians; why can’t we trust God in that way?
Just as the visually impaired lady depended on a cane and on the unfamiliar voices of strangers to guide her, so too should we as Christians have our guides that allow us to feel our way through life, wandering along trying to find the straight and narrow path. Our cane is the Word of God. St. Paul in his second letter to Timothy writes, “All scripture is inspired by God and can profitably be used for teaching, for refuting error, for guiding people’s lives, and for teaching them to be holy”. Psalm 119:105 tells us, “Now your word is a lamp to my feet, a light to my path.” So the Word of God is our cane.
Secondly, just as that visually impaired lady and so many other visually impaired persons seem to bring out the best in people around, so much so that even the hardest and coldest of hearts can somehow find kindness in them to guide them along the right way; somehow unfamiliar voices can turn out to be an extension of God’s mercy watching over them, so too we have, kind gentle voices guiding us along life’s way. That is the sweet voice of the Holy Spirit. The more we listen to the sweet voice of the Holy Spirit, the more familiar the voice becomes.
I left Down-town, Port-of-Spain filled with praise unto God for His marvellous deeds, and went to PriceSmart to pick up a few items, and once again, I met Kindness and Mercy. Someone passed me in a motorized cart, and as they passed, I thought the person’s face looked familiar. As our paths crossed again, I looked more intently at her and said, “Aunty Jackie?!” Aunty Jackie as many called her many years ago when I worked in the bank, was one of the most beautiful persons to have known and worked with. We chatted for a while and she told me that only last year, she had a freak accident at her home – she slipped and fell in her kitchen. This almost cost her her life, and it cost her her left leg. The amazing thing was that it did not take away her kindness nor that very generous smile that she always had. Aunty Jackie told me that in spite of the accident and the loss of her leg, she is quite grateful to God for her life.
I met Kindness and Mercy today and they were so, so very beautiful. I thank God for the Kindness and the Mercy that was flowing (and I pray continues to flow) all around that visually impaired lady who walked with me without even knowing it and who blessed me with her presence without even knowing I was there. I thank God for Kindness and Mercy shown towards Aunty Jackie, and for the joy and peace that still radiate from her being, in spite of all she has gone through. may God bless you abundantly Aunty Jackie with His peace and with every Grace that you need.
Thank you God for the hope that you continue to place in our hearts that conquers the darkness the world would try to engulf us in. Grant us Lord, the grace to live always in that hope, to truly be the Easter people we are called to be – living in the Resurrection of Your Son, our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. In Jesus’ Holy Name we pray. AMEN