I gasped when I read the June 10, 2005 edition in the New York Daily News, “Blind Man Falls into Sinkhole.” I quickly scrolled down to catch the details. But when I learned he suffered no injuries except for minor scratches, I smiled. I continued reading the rest of the story, admittedly, with a tinge of amusement.
I chuckled, but before you think I’m insensitive, let me explain. I too lost my sight. And in the last twenty years as a sightless person, I’ve had my share of mishaps. Falling when I missed steps, dove into a fountain in a shopping center, tripped on countless curbs, got into the wrong car, etc… all part of being blind.
With the aid of a voice synthesizer to operate my computer, I read about this poor man’s mishap. I naturally identified with him.
I also fell into a sinkhole—an emotional one when I initially faced the devastation of losing my sight. Unlike the man in the news, my fall left me with more than simple scratches. I fell hard, hit the bottom and found myself alone. Darkness and loneliness surrounded me. While the rest of the world walked on with their lives, I reached up for someone to help. No one could. No one saw my distress.
The more I tried to claw my way out, the more I sank back into hopelessness.
Fatigued and drained from the futile attempts on my own, I sighed with defeat. I collapsed and let my body fall on the puddle of murky water of self-pity. It seeped through to my soul. I sat with my head hung low shivering in the coldness of my misfortune.
When giving up became my only option, I cried for help one last time. But this time, I called out to someone specific. I called to Jesus. I didn’t utter fancy prayers. I just cried out to Him and simply asked Him to reach down to me. Then I waited.
I learned that prayer is a two-way thing. I needed to listen to His Word. I stopped my sobs that echoed through the hallow sinkhole of misery. When in silence, His voice was clear, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30).
Trusting in this promise, I held up my hand and He gently pulled me out. Warmed by His love, He brushed off the bitterness, blotted the spots of fear and even washed the stains of my sin. He heard my cry, my simple prayer and my desperation.
Even when I didn’t know specifically what I needed, he filled my life with the light of His Word, showered me with His promises and clothed me with the garment of joy. He even sprayed a fragrance of confidence and reassurance that lingers to this day.
Now when I learn about someone falling, I reach out to them and share one important piece of advice,” it won’t be your own abilities, efforts or skills that pull you out of life’s sinkholes. Rather, it’s, in prayer, recognizing your weakness and reaching out to the one who is strong yet gentle to pull you out of your darkness into the light of His love.”
Janet Perez Eckles [email protected] is an inspirational speaker, writer and contributor to seven books. She is the author of Trials of Today, Treasures for Tomorrow.
She delights when her readers visit her at http://www.janetperezeckles.com/