When It’s Really, Really Dark

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Paula was one of my best friends in college. We met because she needed a ride across town. You see, I had a little car. And Paula had her guide dog, Lena. 


I must admit that in the first few months of our friendship, Paula’s blindness was far more of a handicap for me than it was for her. 


One evening, on my way home from the library, I decided to drop in on Paula unannounced. When she opened the door, I heard her flip the nearby switch to activate her living room lamp. But as the door closed behind me, it was obvious that something was wrong. I couldn’t see my hand in front of my face. 


“Have a seat,” Paula welcomed, as she disappeared into the blackness of her apartment. 


Not knowing her well, I hesitated, not knowing quite what to do. I was embarrassed to insist on lighting, as it was obvious that Paula herself didn’t need such a prop. Yet, without it, I knew I would not only stumble badly looking for her sofa, but also stumble over my words in my discomfort.  


Keenly aware that I had not moved, Paula called out to ask, “Are you coming in?”


“Um,” I stammered stiffly, “I think your bulb is out.”


“Oops. Sorry,” she empathized, and promptly headed off to the back of the house. 


As I stood perfectly still, trying not to knock anything over, I realized that my hearing had gone on sharp alert. Since my eyes had nothing to do, my ears had more than picked up the slack.


The refrigerator hummed and the ceiling fan wobbled in its rotation. I could make out Lena’s tail thumping somewhere against the floor and the distinct squeak of a light bulb being taken from some other socket in the house. I strained my eyes to no avail. I don’t think that I had ever made quite so much effort to see.


As I continued to wait in the inky darkness, a Scripture song popped into my mind: “Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path” (Psalm 119:105).


I soberly wondered if I had ever desired His Word as much as I was the arrival of that light bulb. Was I a person who waited perfectly still until His Light dawned? Or did I most usually blunder off without direction, to make out as best I could?


Even after Paula had replaced the bulb,  I realized that the 60-watt bulb wasn’t the only thing that had been enlightened that evening. 


When I returned home, I determined to look for other verses in His Word about His Light and leading. It’s an exercise that continues to illuminate.


Join me over the next several posts as we explore the next of our spiritual senses, that of sight.


The unfolding of His Word will always give us light (Psalm 119:130).


Paula and I at my wedding (1981).