Monday, April 12, 2010

Learning courage from the sight impaired

I ran into an old acquaintance at the post office this morning. This is a gentleman that I have seen walking around town for at least the past 15 years. I've never learned his last name; I only know him by his first name, Larry.

Larry walks daily, weather permitting, accompanied by his guide dog. I assume that Larry is almost, if not totally, blind.

Several years ago, when my daughter was newly married, she and her husband, and their daughter, lived near Larry, and got to know him as he traveled up and down their street. He took an interest in them, and every time I've had occasion to speak to him, he has always asked about them.

Today I spoke to Larry, who was removing the mail from his PO box. I had not seen him for quite some time. When I reminded him who I was, his first question was, "How are Laura and Jeremy? I heard that they've moved back."

I don't know how he knew that, or how he even knew that they had moved away for a time.

After catching him up on their whereabouts, I asked him how he was. I had heard that he had been struck by a car several months ago while crossing a street. "My knees still hurt, and I had some bleeding on the brain, but I'm okay, all things considered."

"Well," I said, "it's certainly great to see you out and about, enjoying this glorious day."

Eventually we bade each other goodbye and I found myself thinking what a model of courage and strength this man is; and how genuinely interested he is in others.

And it also occurred to me how much we take for granted. For instance, when was the last time you stopped just to take in the fragrance of spring? And when was the last time you noticed the sound of birds beginning their morning serenade at first light? And how long has it been since you thanked God for this beautiful world in which He has placed us?

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