I was going to my favorite deli to get a chicken wrap and a man starts walking with me.
He asked if he could speak to me and I said yes, as long as he doesn’t distract my dog while she’s working. He agreed, and then spoke,
“Do you believe in the gift of the Lord?”
Here we go again; the do-gooder wants to heal the blind person. This isn’t the first time an evangelizer has taken it upon themselves to pray over me or on my behalf to call down the Holy Ghost to heal my affliction. I smiled and we walked down the block together. I figure, if this man has courage enough to walk with a complete stranger and evangelize, then I can go along with it. I didn’t say to him that I believe that all gods are one. That kind of unorthodox thinking can be confusing. I strolled along and just listened to his professions of faith and didn’t feel as if he pitied me. On the contrary, I just went with it.
We recited a prayer, I said a hearty AMEN. Then, he says, “I pray that today you will be healed and your blindness lifted.”
I stopped at the curb, my dog guide doing her job and ignoring him. I touched his arm and said,
“My friend, God gave me something better than my vision; he gave me the ability to see without my eyes.”
He was quiet for a moment, then quickly said goodbye. I was relieved he didn’t say any more about waking up to a miracle and being able to see. Sure, I hope for it each and every day but I sure don’t let it interfere with my life. I am a successful person. I am loved and I show love. I know that my fellow human beings respect my desire to just be me. My disability is, at times, a barrier. Most of the time, though, it’s just another minor thing to deal with in life. Most folks respect that and work with me to offer help and support. This man will hopefully remember our encounter and not think of blind folks as less than, or needing their affliction healed to be whole and loved.
It was a nice day and I was still looking forward to that chicken wrap.
I tapped the edge of the curb with my toe and told Verona, “Forward,”” and we proceeded across the street to the deli.
Now that I am reflecting and writing about this, I realize that I was referring not just to the accumulated personal insight and counseling skills I’ve achieved, along with good fortune and success, but also to Verona, who guided me expertly down that busy block while some stranger strode beside us. God=DOG