Beautiful Blindness

Recently we visited some wonderful relatives that we hadn’t seen in years.  The highlight of the night was Lexi’s interaction with their son, Brad.  When Brad was in high school, he had a catastrophic football accident that left him almost completely paralyzed and with very little communication.

I would guess that some children would be a bit hesitant to approach Brad and interact with him because he looks different.  But Lexi, being blind, had no such hesitation; she absolutely fell in love with him.  She talked to him and wanted to sit in his lap.  He was able to move his arms enough to wrap them around her in a hug.  I believe he even tried to hold her hand.  It was very touching.

But the best part was the singing.  Lexi sang some of her songs from Primary.  These are songs that Brad also grew up singing.  I had no idea that Brad could even move his lips, let alone sing, but I looked up and noticed that he was mouthing the words with her.  It was a beautiful moment to behold.  When I listened closely, I realized that Brad was actually singing.  It was very soft, but very clear.  Then I realized that in order for him to make this sound, his mother had to help him.  She had to push against his diaphragm so the air in his lungs would come out with enough force to create the sound.  With that help, he was able to sing along with Lexi.  Once Lexi realized how this worked, she insisted, “I want to help Brad!”  So Lexi pushed his chest and helped him sing along with her.  It was a tender and special experience.

How grateful I am that Lexi is blind to the disabilities of others.  How grateful I am that she is blind to the inhibitions that prevent many of us from expressing the interest and love we feel towards those around us.  May we all develop such blindness.

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