Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Gifts (of the Spirit or service) (11/22/07)
TITLE: The gift of Blindness.
By Josiah Kane
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He stormed up to the 10th grader, grabbed the squirming imp with both hands and yelled, “Your Jesus was the figment of twelve unbalanced men’s imaginations. This heroic man who you claim was the earth’s creator but came down to us to die did not exist. Please stop bombarding me with questions on his supposed miracles. If you don’t I shall go immediately to the principal and have you expelled.”
The class was suddenly quieter than a sparrow at midnight. The slight whir of the fluorescent bulb was all the noise in a group of twenty teenagers. And in the un-natural silence a strange thing happened to the teacher. Dr. Philip felt a fog coming close to his eyes. He tried to rub it off, but within moments his sight had disappeared. In the silence, with a light grey haze as his vision, Dr Philip’s only consolation, and proof that he yet lived, was the feel of the smart-alec’s ear in his grasp. Unwilling as he was, he released that hold and staggered back to his desk to think.
As the blind teacher was struggling to make sense of this phenomenon he was laid upon by horrific visions of hideous demons grasping toward his body in an attempt to heave it down into the fiery lake of burning sulphur. He vaguely recalled his childhood when a similar clouding effect had begun. A ninny old nanny had prayed that Justin’s eyes would be restored in time for the next school football match. The cloud had dispersed and no more was thought of it. Then real terror set in. That first recollection had brought stories from the Sunday school that that old woman had taught. Even then Dr. Philip had shown great ability, far beyond the other children. Again and again he was moved up, and by the time of his teenage years set in he knew all the stories by heart. But throughout the turbulent years that followed his faith had waned, whereupon a famous evolutionary scientist happened upon him and explained his views, before helping Justin get his Doctorate. That was how he had reached his present state in life, but now he was unexpectedly looking back
Philip had recently said that a human brain never forgets anything without a disease interfering. This was certainly true here, and Dr. Philip’s mind had a jumble of simple tales to sift, through Jacob, Joshua, and Jonah. He finally arrived at Elisha, and he recalled that God had blinded an entire army. Then there was Saul, the tireless persecutor of Christians, who had suffered the same fate. The magician from Salamis, called Bar-Jesus or Elymas, had been a similar victim, struck sightless in front of Paul. And finally the crowd from Sodom who wished to rape the angels who were Lot’s guests had been so severely blinded that they could not find a door.
Dr. Justin Philip was terrified and called desperately for help. As his cataracts had fully developed in a minute he couldn’t see the response of his class. But when no evident reassurance came from the students he turned his mind back to Jesus. As his desperate mouth called for the friend he had known decades before and an eye of faith saw this figment of twelve unbalanced men’s imaginations the Holy Spirit removed the curse he had given to Justin’s two physical eyes.
On reflection later Doctor Justin Philip realized the hazy lenses he had received was really a great gift. Like a prod from a poker warning an inquisitive child away from the fireplace, this blindness had thrust him off the course that would leave him in hell. He remained in that school, but his teaching changed. The irreligious biology would not emerge again in that room for fifty-nine years, long after Philip had died and the smart-alec who succeeded him had retired.
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