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
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