It Sounds Like God To Me

© Copyright 2007 by Phil Scovell - All Rights Reserved



                                      16

                     Witnessing the OmniPresence of God


                              By Phil Scovell






          I have been totally blind due to  detached retinas since I was 12
     years of age.  During a six month period eye had a dozen operations on
     my retinas.   On the 13th of November,  1964, I was pronounced totally
     blind, never to see again, and sent home from the Iowa City University
     Hospital in Iowa City, Iowa.  This date had greater significance to me
     personally because  this was the exact day,  one year earlier, when my
     father died unexpectedly.
          Some may wonder about my attitude  toward blindness.  Most of the
     time, over my life,  I have been pretty positive  about it all.  As  a
     teenager, I  did everything I  wanted to do.   I roller  skated on the
     sidewalk in front of our home.  I  climbed trees.  I even rode my bike
     when I  had blurry  watery  light perception  and  could stay  on  the
     sidewalk.   When that no longer worked, my younger sister and I rode a
     tandem  bike a  lot.   I  swam, ice  skated, fished,  ran,  joined the
     wrestling  team at school,  became a ham radio  operator, and did just
     about anything else I desired.  Once and awhile, I found a limitation.
     Normally, I worked around them and found it didn't bother me  all that
     much.  At least, not until I became a father.
          Sandy and I have three children.  They are all groan  and married
     now and we  have five grandchildren.  All three of my children and all
     of my  grandchildren  see normally.   My  wife, by  the  way, is  also
     totally blind.  So, neither of us drive.
          When my  oldest son turned  16, we purchased  our first car.   We
     were all  in hog heaven because we no longer had to depend upon others
     to go  anywhere.   You can't  imagine the  freedom that  gave us  as a
     family.
          One night, we all went out to eat as a family.   On the way home,
     I decided to ride  in the back to get a feel for how the car rode.  As
     we drove  home, I felt a sadness, or a  depression, settle over me.  I
     couldn't  figure out  why.   Thinking about  it carefully,  I suddenly
     realize what was wrong.  My  oldest son, just 16 years old, was  doing
     what I had always dreamed of doing.  Not only that, he was driving for
     the family and that was something I should be doing as a father.
          I could tell many other  similar stories which caused me, rightly
     or wrongly,  to sharply focus on what I couldn't do as a blind person.
     Yet, it  still  did not  overwhelm me  until a  few  months after  the
     purchase of that first car.
          All three of my children attended the same Christian  school.  My
     oldest son, still 16 at this time, drove them to school.
          One afternoon, as they just pulled away from the school, they sat
     at  a light waiting for it  to turn green.   My son's foot slipped off
     the clutch, the car rolled forward and bumped into the back of another
     car.  That  car, in turn, rolled forward and bumped into the car ahead
     of  it.   Our  car  was a  Honda  but the  other two  cars  were large
     vehicles.  As  it turned out, the  other two drivers were  mothers who
     had just  come  to the  same Christian  school to  pick  up their  own
     children.   The Christian  women screamed and  yelled at  my children,
     though there was little  damage done to their car, yet  they still put
     on quite a demonstration of their Christianity.
          My  daughter had run to a nearby  store and called me and told me
     everything  that was happening.   I tried  calling everyone  I knew in
     order to  obtain a ride to get to my children.  People were either not
     home or did not have a car available.  I thought of  calling a cab but
     it was rush hour traffic and getting a cab would  have been out of the
     question.  Plus,  my children were not  far away and I knew  getting a
     cab for such a short distance would also  make it impossible for me to
     arrive before my kids  would be home.  I  had to wait, frustrated  and
     helpless, for over an hour  until they got home.  Once home, they told
     me the whole story of how rude the Christian ladies were and how upset
     they were being  yelled at by these adults when such little damage was
     done to their cars.
          When  my  children went  to  their separate  rooms,  I sat  in my
     office.  The weight of  my blindness and my  inability to help my  own
     children at a very  difficult time nearly crushed the life  out of me.
     I sat,  all alone,  and cried.   I  have never  felt so  alone and  so
     helpless in my life.  Additionally, I had never felt my blindness that
     strongly before and I hated it.
          Many years later, while praying with a counselor, this event came
     to mind.  We examined the emotions I had related to this memory to see
     why it  kept returning.   I was  mad and  angry that  I was blind  and
     couldn't get  to my  children to  help them.   I  was mad  at God  for
     allowing me to be  blind.  I hated myself for being  blind.  All these
     emotions pressed in upon me as we prayed.
          As my mind focused on this past painful event, the Lord showed me
     something very unusual.   Although I  had no  spiritual vision of  any
     kind, I saw the Lord standing with my kids on the sidewalk.   He said,
     "Your children weren't alone  because I was  with them."  Although  it
     was  comforting to  realize the Lord  was with my  children, still, my
     anger burned.  I couldn't  be with them.  I expressed  my anger toward
     God for my blindness, for my  fear, and total feeling of helplessness.
     I said, "So where were you when I needed you the most?"
          The Lord said, "While I was with your children, I was with you as
     well."
     I  suddenly sensed the presence of God  in my memory as though He were
     right in the room with me.  Instantly, my theology came to life and  I
     realized what the Lord was trying to show me.
          No  one  can  explain  the  omnipresence of  God  because  it  is
     impossible  to do  so.   Yet, that  day, as  I prayed  with my  prayer
     partner about something that  had deep pain in it, the  Lord showed me
     how His omnipresence worked.  I felt the Lord's healing come into that
     painful memory and I was set free of the heavy wait of blindness I was
     carrying.   I knew my children were taken care  of that day and I knew
     the Lord  was equally with me in my  sorrow and frustration, as He was
     with my children, because He was in both places  simultaneously.  That
     memory event  no longer contains pain.   I can return to  it again and
     again and not feel  any of the negative and painful  emotions I did at
     the time.  I  praise God for not only  healing the pain of that  event
     which I  had carried  around for  years but  for revealing  a Biblical
     truth I had  never understood before.   I still do not  understand the
     omnipresence of God  but I can  truthfully say, I have  experienced it
     and know the Jesus is with me wherever I am.