When Andrew was born, I remember seeing him open his eyes and looking at me. In typical, scientist fashion, I tested his eyes by seeing how well they tracked, that is, how well they worked together. I moved side to side, to see if his eyes would follow me,and they did. What a miracle! Up until the time he was born, he had never used his eyes. Three seconds after birth, he was able to synchronize their motion. What a fantastic miracle of God's creation. (The funny thing was that when David was born, I also got to hold him. But when he saw me he immediately closed his eyes and never openened them again for three days. What's with that?) His ability to see was a great miracle. For all intents and purposes, he had been blind for nine months. Three seconds after birth, he was able to see.
You know, I can't imagine what it would be like to be blind--to not be able to see the faces of the people I love--my wife, my children, my family and friends. I can't imagine what it would be like to not be able to read my books, to not be able to drive a car or to not be able to watch a beautiful sunset or my favorite TV show. I can't imagine living life completely in the dark.
But there's something else much worse than physical blindness. It's spiritual blindness. Spiritual blindness is much more tragic than physical blindness. Could you imagine living in the darkness of not knowing God's Word? In our Sunday Bible Study we've been studying "How We Got the Bible" (from Lutheran Hour Ministries). We learned about the many sacrifices that were made in order that the Word of God be made available to all people.
That crusade is still going on. More than 180 million people around the world are experiencing life with a visual impairment. The written Bible is closed to them. However, they have not been left in the dark. Lutheran Braille Workers (LBW) is one of the largest providers of Christian Braille and specialized Large Print literature in the world. All publications are offered free of charge and are made possible through the efforts of over five thousand faithful volunteers in 194 Work Centers throughout the United States and Canada. In 2009 alone, they produces 17 million pages of material. One of the fruits of their labor is Nadine. Nadine is blind and her husband is illiterate. Yet thanks to Lutheran Braille Workers, she reads the Bible to her husband. A blind woman is reading the Bible to him!
On Sunday, November 14, we'll be celebrating the 20th anniversary of our local Work Center #199. Immanuel First has been an active supporter of the Lutheran Braille ministry with our time, talent and treasures. It has been a privilege to be used by God to share the Gospel to all the vision impaired people of the world.
May God continue to bless this ministry.