Tuesday, June 1, 2010
Who's afraid of the dark?
This weekend I celebrated 16 years of wedded bliss. The only advice our minister gave us for premarital counseling was this: "Never stop dating." It was fun advice to follow. Not always easy as demands of children and jobs take up more time, but fun to shoot for this goal none-the-less. At this point, we aim for a monthly date night. I hate to clarify the fact that our kids aren't with us but for some people I sadly must explain that any kids on the date night does not qualify as a date night.
So the kids went off to Grandma and Grandpas on Saturday and we went off to Atlantic Station in the Atl to shop, eat, and explore. While we were there we went through "the coolest exhibit we'd never see" - Dialog in the Dark. This is exhibit is in total darkness and simulates part of what life is like for a blind person. We had canes to aid us and a guide so that we could follow his voice. We went over grassy, mulchy, rocky terrain. We went on a boat ride, visited a grocery store, ordered a coke at the bar, and walked through city streets.
Along the way here are the things I discovered:
1) I have no excuses. Life is really hard and I often find myself making excuses for why I can't do something. But when I think of the amazing things that others accomplish that are at a disadvantage (ie no sight, no legs, no family etc) - my excuses are very weak. I'm blessed even with all my growing edges so I have no excuse to not accomplish my goals.
2) The world is very loud. It is true that our other senses become more alert when one of them is not working. I was amazed at how much noise there was in each room. And most of it was coming from the eight other people in the room with me. The clicking of the canes, the giggling when we ran into each other, the "what is that?" people would ask when they felt something new. It put a new perspective on "quiet time" for me. From now on I'm going to be more conscience of how quiet my "quiet time" really is.
3) There is Light in the Darkness. I mean this of course in the figurative sense. This exhibit was literally dark. No light. You honestly couldn't see ANYTHING. And yet even though we were all scared of the unknown of the dark, I did experience sources of "light" around me. I followed the light of our guide's voice between each room. He made sure no one was left behind and also that we experienced as much of each room as we could. I felt the light in the touch of a neighbor who was making sure they didn't bump into me. I felt the light in the collective sense that our group finally understood a fraction of what a blind person goes through. It is difficult. I honestly can't describe it. You'll have to do it on your own.
By then end of the journey, I had an amazing appreciation of our guide George - who was actually blind. I kept wondering what the rooms actually looked like but then realized that what I knew of those rooms is all that George knows. He'll never see what color those apples were in the grocery store. He'll never see the water as the boat moves through it. But he appreciates the smell of the apples and the salty air much more than I do. And he has an amazing awareness of his physical surroundings that I'll never understand.
God can "see" so much more than we can. I think that this journey helped me to remember to listen to His voice. He's guiding me into places I cannot see. And hopefully I won't let that unknown keep me away.
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