Do You Have a Wall Surrounding You?Posted July 19th, 2011
by Ernest Jones
The Berlin Wall was constructed fifty years ago, severing the formerly united Germany and tearing families apart. The tragedy of that horrible Wall finally came to an end, but many other smaller walls—sometimes only imaginary ones—continue to affect us. Are you allowing blindness to build a wall around you?
My life was going great; I was happily married and had a job I loved. Then one autumn day the sun hid behind a dark wall as I listened to my ophthalmologist.
“You are legally blind,” he said. “Your work as a nurse is over. No more driving, no more using the lawn mower, power saw, or garden tiller.”
I felt a great wall rising around me. I thought I was being separated from the work I loved; I was being forced—at least, so it seemed at the time—to give up almost every activity I enjoyed. The wall grew higher and thicker. It seemed I was of little value, and I screamed out to God as I complained about the wall around me.
Storming Up the Road
One day, as I stormed up a lonely gravel road—a walk where not another person could see or hear me—I poured out my anger to God: “Why have you taken everything away from me and built this great wall around me?”
Finally I paused, in my mad rush, to rest under a tall pine. I heard a voice speaking: “Who built that wall? Might you find relief if you stop banging into the wall you have made, and allow me to help you?”
As I began to accept my life that now included blindness, I found it was still pretty good. Block by block, I tore that wall down, and stone by stone I found there was still a lot of joy in life. My wall came down rapidly once I decided to prove to the world, and to myself, that blindness was not the end of a good life.
If, today, you find a dark wall being constructed around you, reach out to God for His strength, and then accept the good He still offers. Quit maintaining that wall. Let it fall, and breathe in the freedom that follows.
We may pass through a time of frustration and anger when we learn our eyesight is failing. We may cry out, “Not me Lord! I can’t take it.” It’s so easy to start feeling sorry for ourselves, and to begin building that wall.
Instead, consider what is important to you and what still brings you happiness. Much of the world thinks blindness will make you unable to enjoy life. Are you going to give in to pity, or will you prove that being blind will not create a wall around you.
Get mobility training, and discover the many opportunities opening up to you. Maybe you will want to get a guide dog; they are great companions as well as guides. Mobility training with cane or dog will give you independence as you find you can shop, take strolls in the park, and travel alone. The way will be open for many surprises.
There are software programs that allow a person who is blind to use the computer just as well as the person with good eyesight. Among many other things, this provides an easy way to keep in touch with family and friends.
Tear Down that Wall
From time to time, you may find a wall beginning to rise again. Just stop, think, and tear it down before it blocks you. No one asks to lose their eyesight. Yet if you don’t allow the wall to be built, your life will still be abundantly full.
Long ago, Joshua confronted a wall that seemed unconquerable: the one that surrounded the city of Jericho. That wall, and the powerful army garrisoned behind it, appeared to prohibit Israel’s entry into the Promised Land. But, as the old Spiritual says, “Joshua fit the battle of Jericho, and the walls came a tumblin’ down.” It wasn’t Joshua’s ability, however, that yielded that result. It was God’s power.
If you are still confronting walls in your life, may they—by God’s grace and power—come tumbling down today.
Ernest Jones is a regular Lifeglow columnist.