On Blindness: Anderson Cooper & Me

Occasionally, a weird thing happens to bloggers. We surround ourselves with words day in a day out, reading them, writing them, critiquing them, envying them. They mount up in our heads, pour out on our keyboards, and are more often than you’d expect deleted in fits of despair.

Ask my editor Eileen and she’ll tell you (sweetly of course) that I am rarely at a loss for words. I think I’m known in my publishing house for being the most verbose Ave Maria Press author. They tell me to write 50K and I give them 75+.

And yet, every once in a while, writers’ block sets in as happened the past few days. The “funk” coincided with a family trip so I decided to ride it out, pray through it, and let God take the wheel. I’m still not positive what I was supposed to learn, but I did note the recurrence of a particular theme over the past few days:

Blindness.

“Blindness?” you ask.

Yes, blindness.

I don’t know what it’s supposed to mean but it kept coming up over the past few days. Perhaps I was conditioned to watch for the theme. Late last week, I was in conversation with a sight-impaired Twitter friend on the topic of books for the blind. The night after our online chat, I actually dreamed I was blind. I’m not a big, “remember and tell your dreams” kind of person. I love sleep and typically just roll over and forget my dreams. But this one was frightening, and memorable.

The next day, while visiting Los Angeles, I spotted not one, but two blind people crossing busy city streets at different intersections. This is likely not a huge deal for those of you who live in big cities, but in my part of suburbia it’s rare enough that I take note. And pray for them.

The third instance came this morning. Still subject to the “What to write” blues, I went trolling around online to various news sources, including CNN where I was met with the headline “Anderson Cooper on Going Blind”. I missed Anderson’s temporary blindness due to sunburned eyes, but the third instance in as many days left me pondering the message I was missing.

I still don’t know. But as I often do when I am stumped by things like this, I went to scripture where I found the following:

And he told them a parable, “Can a blind person guide a blind person? Will not both fall into a pit? No disciple is superior to the teacher; but when fully trained, every disciple will be like his teacher.  Why do you notice the splinter in your brother’s eye, but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own? How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me remove that splinter in your eye,’ when you do not even notice the wooden beam in your own eye? You hypocrite! Remove the wooden beam from your eye first; then you will see clearly to remove the splinter in your brother’s eye.

Interesting to note that this particular section of Luke follows immediately on the heels of my favorite verse, Luke 6:38, after which this blog is named.

Honestly, this set of verses has troubled me on more than one occasion. I think I’m especially prone to speaking when I have a beam in my eye. Perhaps most frequently it happens in my own home, with those I love most. I want to clarify in sharing this that I’m not in any way holding myself up as a “teacher” — I most definitely am still in student mode. But I likely do have a tendency to think, “She should totally...” or “He’d be so much better off if…” too frequently when I should be focusing on and repairing my own shortcomings.

During the season of Advent, we are called to prepare our hearts to celebrate Christ’s coming at Christmas, but more essentially his Second Coming in glory at the end of time. Today I’m asking myself how to overcome the spiritual blindness in my life that leads me into sin and away from him.

Your turn: Are you subject to “spiritual blindness” or have you discovered a way around it?

About Lisa M. Hendey

Lisa M. Hendey is the founder and editor of CatholicMom.com and the bestselling author of The Handbook for Catholic Moms and A Book of Saints for Catholic Moms.

  • Maggie Goff

    JUST what I needed. Thank you!!!!

  • http://www.patheos.com/About-Patheos/Pat-Gohn.html Pat Gohn

    Curious that I read this today as I struggle with an unusual eye infection that sent me packing to the eye doctor today. It’ll take days and antibiotics to heal, but it reminds me very acutely that I pray to “see” what the Lord is doing with me, and where he is leading… I don’t want to miss his lead!

    It’s a gift to have eye sight, but the spiritual vision is one we need just as much, if not more. I don’t know if there’s a way around it, save through staying close to the Lord by staying close to the his grace that we receive in the sacraments…. they are his “touch” in our lives… like the way Jesus touched and healed the blind people in his day.


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