I stood in the back lurking. Deep in the shadows I watched, like a stalker, like a thief in the night, like a serpent hunting. The darkness thickened near the corners so I backed up, edging closer and closer to obscurity. I shifted my weight from foot to foot, not quickly, but slow, a timeless rhythm tossing the wind back and forth between movements. I stayed inside my personal space, shrinking to nothing. Unseen. Unnoticed. Unknown.
The only light, the only sound, came from a stage in the distance. The eyes of cameras watching every movement, much like me. It was just a show, a simple national platform, and a friend of mine sat there among the cables and wires, the backdrops and backlights, being in the cornea of the spotlight.
He's a special man. A success by any standard. A national columnist. An award-winning author. An international speaker. A dreamer who knows the smell of battle to keep the dream alive.
At age 17 he started going blind. At age 29 the process was complete.
The bubbly interviewer smiled through her raspy voice, an extravagant personality beneath big hair and a small frame. She spoke on his books, his movie, his television network.
Still, I remained in the dark. He didn't even know I was there, a spy among strangers. I thought I came to support him. I learned later it was all for me.
She began wrapping up the interview and asked one final question.
"Jim, does being blind limit you?"
He answered, in the sure-footed way he always speaks, comfortable whether at Tiamo's talking about my life or sitting in a ghastly lit chair in front of a live feed talking about his.
"Yes, of course," he said. "It limits what I can do."
And here's the pearl I haven't been able to get out of my head all day.
"But it never limits who I am," he said.
I stopped shifting my weight, stopped my nervous twitch of shifting my weight, stopped feeling the cushions in my shoes squish with my body weight. I stopped lurking in the dark and just stood there plainly. I stopped seeing the chaos behind the scenes and started seeing the chaos behind my eyes. I just stopped.
There in the cool darkness I realized I was the one blind. I cannot see where I'm going, only sometimes where I've been. My eyes haven't adjusted to the darkness. My other senses haven't heightened.
I'm blind. My life makes little sense, the directions even less. I turn north and find out I've gone east. I've make a right to realize I should have made two lefts. And I step out to realize I should have used the other foot.
So many times, I live life blindly still believing I've got perfect sight. But I don't. I'm blind. Completely and totally in the dark. Decisions are limited. I don't have the ability to push my future forward or back, to curve my direction to the left or right. It does not, however, change who I am in Christ.
I'm still His daughter, His beloved, the twinkle in His eye. I'm constantly in His sight, the object of His affection. I'm still His and everything He made me to be. And I don't need my eyes to see it.