Keeping it Real: Seeing Is Believing?

Have you ever spent time with a blind man?  It’s an eye-opening experience.  No really!  You see things you never saw before.

Life was never easy for my brother, Stewart.  The day I was born, my toddler brother was in the same hospital FIGHTING for his life.  DOCTORS eventually discovered Stewart had juvenile diabetes.  He spent much of his life in and out of hospitals.  By the time he reached his twenties, Stewart’s kidneys and eyesight were gone.

Such a description makes you pity him, doesn’t it?  But the remarkable thing about my blind brother was that he could see what others couldn’t.  It was the craziest thing.  If Stewart was traveling in familiar towns, he could specify landmarks as the vehicle passed.  For the life of me, I can’t tell you how he did this but I promise, he did.  Stewart could lead someone to the destination, advising precisely when the driver needed to slow for turns.  It was as if the driver was the one in the dark.

Stewart worked at the Industries For the Blind.  He traveled over three hours each day to work this job.  It was so much more than employment.  This place returned some of the dignity blindness stripped from the soul.

I occasionally showed up with McDonalds in hand.  After the meal, Stewart would enthusiastically show me his current project.  He took such pride in his work.  On this particular day, I excused myself for the ladies’ room.  As I began the journey through the massive warehouse, the unexpected took my breath.  Right in the middle of my energetic stride, the roar of machinery halted abruptly.  I became blind from the darkness.  Immediately, I gasped and let out a yell.  My voice bounced off the silence and ricocheted through the expanse of the mammoth facility.  It was the only sound!  Mine was the only heart that stopped.  I was the only one frozen in fear.  Everyone else? They were completely unaffected by the electrical emergency.

I felt sure the backup generators would kick on at any minute, but nope.  (How exactly is light going to help a warehouse full of blind folks?)  As I stood there immobilized by my inability to see, it struck me.  I walked into that place thinking I was the one with the advantage and these underprivileged people needed my assistance.  In reality, I was the one whose abilities were limited.  I was the only one helpless and afraid.  These individuals with no physical outlook, believed so emphatically in what they knew that they could see everything I couldn’t.

You’ve heard the old adage, “seeing is believing.”  Actually, this couldn’t be further from the truth.  If you can see, it requires no trust whatsoever.  It’s when you have nothing to lean on but what you know to be true.  It’s when you trust so fully in this truth that you can actually see what is not yet visible.  THAT’S when you have the confidence to walk forward even when it’s dark.

Possessing unshakable faith?  It seems hard at first.  Even risky, doesn’t it?  We want absolute assurance.  What I’ve learned is that when faith is built on ageless truth that’s been tested, it’s actually more certain than what we physically perceive.  Resolute faith in timeless truth is the absolute conviction that there are realities we’ve never seen.  In fact, I believe this truth so completely that my faith has become sight.  My trust in God is the firm foundation undergirding everything else.

When the lights go out in our lives and we feel as though we’re overwhelmed by darkness, we want to know we’re not alone.  When we’re frozen in fear, helpless to help ourselves, we need to know there is someone greater who runs to our rescue.  Faith in the Faithful Father . . . it’s so much more than something we want or need to know.  It’s light in the darkness.  It’s hope that conquers fear.  You’ve just got to believe it before you can see it!

For comments or prayer, contact Dr. Lanier at


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