Sunday, April 22, 2012

Blind Leading the Blind

  This post has 2 dates in mind...last Sunday and yesterday.  Last Sunday, Taylor along with Lauren (her older sister), Maggie (her cousin), and Miss Tina (her vocal coach) gave a warm-up concert for their upcoming event at Grandpa's Art Gallery.  While the music was spectacular, what was more endearing was Taylor's hostessing.  Miss Tina happens to be blind as well, so Taylor felt at ease and took it upon herself to lead Miss Tina throughout Grandma and Grandpa's house.  She also wanted to introduce each newcomer to Miss Tina throughout the entire evening.  What a sense of importance Taylor felt while SHE got to lead Miss Tina around the house and navigate the many family members invited to the event.
  The highlight came when they were just about to finish their repertoire of songs with "By Your Side," by Tenth Avenue North.  Taylor held Miss Tina's hand and led her from her chair to her microphone.  Taylor proudly announced, "Hey, it's the blind leading the blind!"  We all hesitated for about 1/4 of a second while Tina and Taylor giggled which gave the rest of us the OK to laugh alongside them.  It was so precious to see the natural bond between these two.  Their bond has formed quickly, and I have had the privilege of learning from Tina (an independent 50-something-year-old woman) what some of Taylor's successes and challenges as an independent blind woman may be in the future. 
  Yesterday was a spectacular event indeed.  Taylor participated in CaneQuest, a competition in which blind students show off their cane traveling skills.  For the younger kiddos, they got to be the guide for some of these challenges.  That meant I was blindfolded while Taylor led me for a change!  What a learning experience for me!  Last year, I participated in a blindfolded walk which was a life-changer for me indeed.  This walk was another of those.  I had joked around for the last few weeks knowing I'd be blindfolded and asked Taylor's mobility teacher, "Andy, should I wear a helmet? mouthguard?  knee, elbow, or shin pads?"  Taylor and I also joked each time I did something to upset her or accidentally bump her into an object.  "Taylor, please don't use this against me on our CaneQuest," I would beg. 
  The challenge came.  Taylor proudly took my hand and placed it on her elbow (proper guide technique).  I squeezed pretty tightly as I held on to my 9-year-old blind daughter for dear life!  (I felt a little better knowing there were lots of people watching to be sure we wouldn't run into too many obstacles or smash my head into something.  (Notice, I wasn't even concerned about Taylor...great mom, huh? just kidding...I knew she'd be fine...)  Anyway, what I noticed right away was how I dropped my head when the darkness came with the blindfold, how confident Taylor was, how I didn't care about all the other people but had to trust in my precious little girl, and how gentle she was with me.
  Of course, I thought about Tina and Taylor...blind leading the blind.  I knew my blindness was temporary and theirs their lifetime.  I knew my head dropped immediately and thought about how much confidence I lost the second I couldn't see.  It made me think of my confidence in the Lord My God!  Each time I walk in His Light, I hold my head a little higher.  When I find myself in those dark times, I lose confidence and my head is definitely a bit lowered.  That's when I can look at His Words and find immense promises that slowly but surely lift my head.  I also think about when my head is lifted toward the heavens, day or night, that is where God-given light is for us.  He leads us daily by the light of the sun and the light of the stars.  He is there, we just have to lift our heads.
  Taylor, thank you for showing me how important it is to lift my head, trust in my Guide, and walk one step at a time in the Light.