Body Block

                               By Phil Scovell

          I lost my sight at 11 years of age.  Just before turning 16 years
     old, I left the  school for the blind, where I had  been a student for
     the last  three years,  and enrolled  in a  public high  school in  my
     neighborhood.  I was  going to take my junior and senior years of high
     school in this public school.

          The  public high school I  would be attending  had been built for
     1500 pupils.  they had 2600 students enrolled and I was the only blind
     person.  This was a new experimental program they were trying  back in
     the late sixties with  blind students.  If it worked,  they planned on
     putting blind students back into  public schools all over the country.
     Now this type of integration is common nationwide.

          I  have to  admit, being  in a  school for the  blind is  a safe,
     environment.    Every  student  is  like  you  and  every  teacher  is
     especially trained to work with the blind.  In fact, at the school for
     the blind, we only had one blind teacher; all the others were sighted.

          Once I adjusted to  life at the school for the blind,  I found it
     secure  and shielding  from  the  outside world.    I  went home  most
     weekends and felt happy.  My experiences back in public school weren't
     so pleasant.  In fact, they were right down frightening at times.

          Although  you can  read  about  my story  in  more detail  in  my
     autobiography written in ebook form on my  website, I want to tell you
     about one particular incident which occurred in the public high school
     that has always caused me more than just  embarrassment, but very deep

          Since the 3-story high school  building covered a 4 block square,
     sometimes  classes were  literally a  block away.   I  had been  given
     permission to leave class a couple  of minutes early so I could  hurry
     to my next  class.  Sometimes I practically  had to run to  get to the
     next  class  in  time.   If  caught when  classes  changed,  the halls
     immediately were almost impassable.  Making progress as a blind person
     in a sea of shoving pushing bodies was greatly impeded.

          I checked my Braille watch and realized it was time for me to go.
     All of  the chairs in  this classroom had  been made into rows  on the
     opposite side  of the room from the entrance.  Thus, my front row seat
     was half  a room away  from the door.   I had  only been in  classes a
     couple of  days so  was very nervous  and not  100 percent  certain of
     where everything was.

          Getting to my feet,  I picked up my white cane laying by my feet.
     Gathering  up my  briefcase that  carried my  small tape  recorder and
     Braille writing equipment,  I walked to where I thought  the door was.
     My cane touched, what sounded  like, the bottom of the swinging  door.
     Placing my right shoulder against the door, I pushed.  It didn't move.
     I thought I was too  far to the right so I  took a couple of steps  to
     the left.  Again  finding what I thought  was the door, I  leaned into
     it, but it  didn't move either.  I stopped, wondering  what to do when
     the teacher,  a very nice  lady, walked over  and explained how  I had
     missed the door.  As I followed her instructions and found the door, I
     heard two girls who  had been seated behind me in  class, laughing and
     snickering at what they had just seen.  
     The door swung wide  as I pressed my shoulder against it and I was out
     in the hallway  heading quickly for my  next class, which by  the way,
     was even more difficult to locate.

          The stinging feeling of the  girl's laughter burned inside like a
     poisonous snake.  No, I didn't cry but I sure felt  like something was
     crying inside and I  didn't know what it was.  I  wanted to quit right
     then and there but shoved it violently aside and pushed on.

          Over the years, this memory  has returned, without warning, in my
     thinking hundreds of times.  I'm a trained blind professional, sort of
     speak, after  more than 40  years of being  totally blind, but  let me
     explain.  Through all of my rehabilitation training as a blind person,
     I was  taught how  to control these  feelings by  psychological molded
     responses such as, "You  can do anything a sighted person can do.  You
     are just as  good as they  are and  even better, too.   You can't  let
     things people say  and do get  you down," and on  and on it went.   If
     what I  was taught, and  trained to think, was  so true, why  was this
     memory, over literally decades, so painful?  This memory, in fact, was
     painful and so  much so,  that whenever  it came to  mind, and  always
     without warning,  I  not only  felt  the pain  but  I often  literally
     groaned  inside softly  due to  the heaviness  of the  embarrassment I
     felt.  I know that meant the memory had to be fixed by  the Lord or it
     would never feel any different.

          I stopped what  I was doing  on the computer  at that moment  and
     focused on  the memory  event.   I saw  myself, the  teacher, and  the
     laughing giggling girls making  fun of the new blind kid in school.  I
     felt the pain; hard, sharp, and penetrating.  It hurt.  I was blind! I
     had done nothing wrong, except being  blind of course, and that I  had
     no control over.

          Suddenly, I saw Jesus standing in the room of my memory event.  I
     rarely see Jesus in  this fashion.  People  with whom I pray,  see him
     all  the time, but not me.  I  watched.  I wondered.  "Jesus, what are
     you doing  here?"   I saw Him  walking toward me  as I stood  near the
     door.  He stopped.  I wondered what was going on and then I saw it and
     smiled.  Jesus had walked  between me and the two laughing girls.   He
     body blocked their  laughter and it wasn't reaching me at the door any
     longer.   No  words were  spoken  but I  just as  surely  received the
     message loud and clear.  I was free.  This painful embarrassing memory
     of blindness, as harmless as it  was, no longer could hurt me  because
     Jesus stood between me and my offenders.

          Now,  how about you.   Where does Jesus stand in  your life?  You
     may, or may not, be blind but you hurt in  places.  Probably in places
     that  hurt  so  badly,  you  even groan  when  those  memories  return
     unexpectedly.   I know how to pray with people but, fortunately, Jesus
     does the healing.  If you need help, please call me.

                               End Of Document

     Safe Place Fellowship
     Phil Scovell
     Denver, Colorado - Mountain Time Zone
     Web:  WWW.SafePlaceFellowship.COM
     Web:  WWW.RedWhiteAndBlue.ORG

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