It Sounds Like God To Me

© Copyright 2007 by Phil Scovell - All Rights Reserved



                                       6

                                  Snow Blind


                              By Phil Scovell






          In mid November of 1964,  my mother and I walked out of  the Iowa
     University hospital.   I was holding on  to my mother's arm  because I
     had  just been told by my doctor that  I was blind and would never see
     again.  My retinas were shredded  into thousands of tiny fragments and
     after  a dozen  surgical  procedures, including  the  laser beam,  the
     latest invention for retinal surgery, I was told nothing more could be
     done.  "Is there any hope at all, doctor?" I heard my mother asking.
          "No," he said softly, "I'm afraid not."
          Now, as we walked into the  windy November day, I could feel  the
     warm sun on my face.  When we  got to the parking lot, I well remember
     the crunching of the gravel beneath my  feet as we walked to the  car.
     My mom  placed my hand on the door handle.  It was warm from the sun's
     rays.  When  I heard the click  of the door being  unlocked, I punched
     the button under the handle  and climbed into the passenger's side  of
     the  car.  I was blind but didn't know  it yet.  "It would be," I told
     myself, "just like all the other times.   I'll go home and after a few
     days, my sight will come back.  Oh, it won't be as good  as it was," I
     knew, "but it will come back.  It always came back.  Always."
          Reaching  Des Moines a couple of  hours later, we stopped at some
     friend's home.   They were having church  friends over for supper.   I
     sat on  the couch  and listened to  my mom as  she cried and  told her
     friends  what the doctor had said.  I  was numb.  The words I heard my
     mother speaking didn't seem to effect me; as if she were talking about
     someone I  didn't know.  My sight would come back because it had every
     time after each operation.  It would this time too.
          Making one  other stop  to see mom's  best friend, we  talked for
     awhile and then  as we left,  the lady gave  me her dog.   He was  the
     father of Corkey, my  fox terrier, who had run away after  we moved to
     Omaha and we never saw again.  I petted my new little dog as he lay on
     the seat  next to me in his blanket all the way through the dark night
     to our new home in Omaha, Nebraska.
          I hadn't gone  to the school for the blind yet.   I remembered my
     mother talking to the doctor about putting me in a special school just
     for blind people but I wouldn't be doing anything like that because my
     sight would be coming back.  It always did.
          Ruth and I begged mom to let us  go out into the snow.  "But it's
     dark out," she protested.
          "We don't care," my little 7 year old sister and I  said; jumping
     up  and down.  "We want to go out  and play in the snow.  Besides, the
     street lights are on."
          "It's really cold out there," mom tried again.
          "So.  We don't mind."
          We were so  bundled up went  leaving the  house, we could  hardly
     walk.  It was cold, too, but  soon we were sliding down the short hill
     to the snowy sidewalk below and holding on to the hand rail, we walked
     up  the steps  to  achieve the  hilltop  again.   Mom  had called  our
     neighbors and  asked them  to turn on  their porch  light so  the area
     where we were playing would be illuminated and she could easily see us
     from a window.
          It wasn't long after my sister and  I began sliding down the hill
     that  two other  little  girls  from our  new  neighborhood heard  our
     laughter and came to investigate.  They asked if they could slide down
     the hill with  us and we  said yes.   For over an  hour, we each  took
     turns sliding down  the steep hill.   Sometimes, due to the  deep snow
     and having  gotten turned away  sliding down the hillside,  I couldn't
     find the hand railing and would ask for help.  My little sister, Ruth,
     helped me find it several times and soon the two little girls, who had
     come to play, were helping me find the hand rail, too, thinking it was
     just part of the game, I'm sure.
          It was  getting late  and it  had gotten  much colder.   We  were
     covered with snow  and it was in  our boots, inside our  gloves, under
     our hats, and down our necks.  We were getting cold and tired.
          Sliding down the hill, I couldn't find the hand railing and asked
     where it was.  One of the little girls took my gloved hand and  guided
     it to the iron hand railing.  "Why do you keep asking us to help you?"
     she asked innocently.
          Suddenly, I  was  cold; very  cold.   I  was  wet and  tired  and
     exhausted.  I had only been home from the hospital for a few days.  My
     sight wasn't  slowly returning as  it normally had  after each of  the
     other surgeries.
          A couple of days  after coming home, I asked my mom  for the book
     she  had been reading to me as I lay  on my back in the hospital.  She
     gave it to me and  I went to my room.  Closing the door, I switched on
     a light and held the book in front of me.  I couldn't see it.  Holding
     it closer to my  eyes, standing as close  to the light as  possible, I
     could tell the cover was red but  I could see nothing else; absolutely
     nothing.  I knew my sight would return, though, because it always did.
          During my last stay in the hospital, I had been made to lay on my
     back for two full weeks.  They had placed rolls of sand bags on either
     side of my head, and they had covered both my eyes with thick patches.
     "Keep your eyes  closed, Philip," the doctor  said.  "Try not  to move
     and try to  stay as flat as  you can.  We  want your retinas to  be at
     rest as much as possible so whatever you do, don't move your head."
          "But I hate laying on my back," I protested.
          "I understand but it is necessary," he said gently."
          After the surgery, it was another two weeks of laying on my back,
     sand bags rolled up on either side of my head to keep  me from turning
     my  head, and patches  on my eyes.   When the patches  came off, all I
     could see was watery light.
          As I  stood at the  cold iron hand  railing, I suddenly  felt the
     cold of the night rushing in.  It felt as if it had even penetrated my
     heart.   Realization sparked  to life  and everything became  suddenly
     very still.   It  was like  the planet  slowed to  a stop  and a  huge
     spotlight was  focused on  me.   "Because  I'm blind,"  I blurted  too
     loudly, and  I burst into  uncontrollable sobbing.  My  little sister,
     Ruth, realized why I was crying and took my arm.   As we both stumbled
     down the  snow covered sidewalk to our home,  we sobbed.  Something in
     my thoughts seemed to say, "And I'll never see again."
          Crashing through the  front door, the warmth of  the house nearly
     knocking us  over, we  cried  even louder.    "What's wrong?    What's
     wrong?" our mother  said; hurrying over to  the front door to  help us
     in.  "Did somebody get hurt?" she wanted to know.
          My sister and I started  immediately pulling wet snowy cold coats
     and  clothes off.    "It's Philip.    It's Philip,"  my  little sister
     stammered through her tears.
          "Philip?" mom said with alarm in her voice.  "What happened?"
          "I'm  blind," I  sob nearly  incoherently, "I'm  blind, and  I'll
     never see again."
          Seated on a  plastic lawn chair on the edge of the long driveway,
     I  listened  as  my  two sighted  4  year  old  grandsons  raced their
     tricycles back  and forth;  complete with their  own made  up guttural
     engine sounds.  By the way, all three of my children see  normally and
     all of their children see normally.  So rest easy.  Blind people don't
     always reproduce blind offspring.  My wife, by the way, is blind, too,
     so there.
          It was a nice comfortable Colorado day.  Seated just behind the 5
     foot wooden privacy fence, I  was shielded from the brightness  of the
     sun as it  slowly crawled westward across  the big sky where  it would
     soon drop behind the Rocky Mountains behind me.
          I  was bored.   There wasn't anything  to do.   My grandsons were
     having  fun,  though,  and  it  felt good  just  sitting  outside  and
     listening to  them  play.    A  good 40  years  had  passed  since  my
     realization of blindness had occurred.  I had been to that memory many
     times, even describing it in my autobiography,  but now it didn't hurt
     or cause me pain as it did that day.
          Listening to the little boys racing around and laughing, I leaned
     back in my  chair and began  to pray.   Much of my  prayer time is  in
     thought only.  I learned a long time ago, prayer is in no way confined
     to kneeling,  folding your  hands, closing your  eyes, and  praying by
     starting, "Oh,  God, and great  Heavenly Father."  Since  being filled
     with the Spirit in 1982 and receiving the gift of tongues, I have also
     learned that speaking in tongues  isn't the only way to pray.   So, as
     my grandchildren played nearby,  I thought in my mind to  God.  That's
     right.  I  allowed my thoughts to become exchanged with God's.  Which,
     by the way, is my basic definition of prayer:  Exchanging our thoughts
     for God's.
          Moments  later, I  wasn't getting  anywhere.   So I  said,  in my
     thoughts, "Ok,  Lord.  You know  where I need  healing.  What  are the
     three major areas you want me to focus on for healing."
          The response was immediate.   God said, "Your blindness, sex, and
     money."
          "Woe, horse!"   I nearly fell off  my chair.  I  wasn't expecting
     anything along those  lines but there it  was; big as life.   Finally,
     once  I had recovered some  of my composure, I  said, "Ok, Lord, but I
     doubt I can get all three of those things cleared up in one day.  So,"
     I said, "let's  take them one at  a time."  I suggested  we start with
     the blindness because, frankly, I thought  it was there that the least
     amount of healing  would be required.   After all,  I reasoned, I  was
     pretty  familiar with  most of  my  blindness problems.   Yeah,  sure,
     right.
          Leaning back in  my chair, I asked  the Holy Spirit to  search my
     life and to  bring to my attention  anything relating to my  blindness
     that needed healing.   Bing.   Bing.  Bing.   Three memories  suddenly
     surfaced  in my  thoughts.  I  carefully looked  at each of  the three
     memories but really  felt no pain or discomfort of any  kind in any of
     the memories.  I decided to take them one at a time and look them over
     very closely and pray about how I felt in each memory.
          The  first  memory I  prayerfully  examined  is  the one  I  have
     described  in this testimony.  This memory has returned to my thinking
     dozens  and dozens of times over the  40 plus years I have been blind.
     It has never been particularly painful other than it was the moment in
     time I suddenly realized, with harsh reality,  I was really blind and,
     as the  doctor said,  I recalled, I'll  never see again.   I  told the
     Lord, in my  thoughts as I  prayed, that I  didn't see anything  wrong
     with this memory.  Since the  memory often returned, I knew there  had
     to be something I  was overlooking so I  prayed and asked the  Lord to
     show me.   I went over  each phase of the  memory step by step.   Yet,
     nothing was apparent.  I even complained to the Lord.  "Lord," I said,
     "I don't even  feel any pain in  this memory.   So what is wrong  with
     it?"  He did not  answer me that day.  In  fact, he did not answer  me
     for many months.
          One evening, I was  conducting a prayer session with someone.   I
     was  trying  to  explain  to   them  the  nature  of  healing  through
     intercessory prayer.  I used this very story to explain to them that I
     understood how they felt in the situation they were in at that moment.
     As I told the  story, just as I told it here,  the Lord said, "There's
     your lie."  I almost stopped talking  in mid sentence so I could think
     about it but decided to come back to it later so I  could focus on the
     memory.
          After that  prayer session  that night,  I sat  in my  office and
     reviewed this experience of coming face to face with my blindness as a
     12 year old boy.   When the little girl took my hand  and placed it on
     the  iron hand  railing to  the steps,  she wanted to  know why  I was
     always asking for help to find it.  When I blurted out, "Because I  am
     blind," that  is all that was spoken aloud.   In my thoughts, however,
     whenever I told this story, I finished how I felt at that very moment.
     I did not  just feel blind; I felt  I would forever be  blind.  That's
     the implanted lie.  Confessing my blindness, as painful as it was that
     first time, hurt  a great deal but  I never realized the  rest of what
     was spoken, "And you will never see again," was not  spoken by me.  It
     was, in  fact, as Jesus said,  a lie.   I rejoiced in the  truth Jesus
     spoke.
          Now, about this  time, many people are curious.   "So what?" they
     say.   "You are blind and you  are never going to see  again."  Excuse
     me, but the first part is  true and the second part, Jesus  identified
     as a lie.  I no longer, when telling this story, use the second phrase
     because my Lord clearly pointed out the second half of what I heard in
     my thoughts  was a lie.  In other words, if I didn't say it, and Jesus
     didn't say it, who did?  You get only one guess.
          This immediately singles  me out from the Christian  crowd who no
     longer believes that  Jesus does miracles today.   That died out  with
     the last  apostle; whoever  he was.   Let  me confuse  the issue  even
     further.  To receive my  physical sight, I don't need to  be healed; I
     will need a  recreative miracle.   Why?   Both my  eyes, for now,  are
     artificial.  So, I  don't need to be  healed; I need a miracle.   "Has
     Jesus  ever performed  a recreative  miracle?"   John Chapter  9 would
     appear to be just such a  case.  Of course there are many  others such
     as the lepers  he healed and especially  Lazarus.  You know,  the dead
     man?  Sort of difficult just to heal somebody who  has been dead for a
     few days without  having to recreate something in the process.  Blood,
     comes to mind right off the bat.
          Some may choose to suggest Jesus was referring to  His return and
     that is  when I would receive my  physical sight.  If  that's what the
     Lord meant, that is fine with  me.  However, during prayer times,  the
     Lord has told me more than once things along these lines.  Again, as I
     say, if He is  referring to His return when all  born again Christians
     will receive  their perfect glorified  bodies, that will be  fine with
     me.  You are welcome to think as you wish.  I, on the other hand, know
     what Jesus  was talking about and I am thankful  He saw fit to heal me
     in one more place where lies were believed instead of God's Word.