Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Light and Dark (05/21/09)
TITLE: Seeing Darkness
By Wendy LeBolt
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Where is that switch? I have flipped it hundreds of times. I pause for a moment. Just today our anatomy teacher had discussed what amazing organs our eyes were. Nature designed them with pupils which dilated to gather all the ambient light in the darkest setting. Well, here I was. In the pitch black. What good were those amazing eyes? I squinted, straining against the inky blackness. But there was no seeing anything in front of me.
Suddenly, involuntarily, I did what nature didn’t recommend. I closed my eyes. This seemed calming. Convincing. Reassuring. Now what I saw was a blackness I expected. Dark that shouldn’t be penetrated. My eyes were satisfied to be incompetent. And, gingerly at first, and then with confidence, my fingers traced the familiar wall. The outline of the mirror a guiding presence. There it was. My search was rewarded by the raised switch. Comfortably, almost reluctantly, I pushed it upward.
Light flooded the room. I squeezed my eyes shut against the insult. Pain turned my head away from the intruder. Covering my eyes with my hand to soften the rays, I cautiously tested them. Slowly, those amazing pupils constricted to allow light to enter and make its way. I could see. I could brush my teeth.
But I wondered, as I brushed, about the moment of darkness. How odd, when our eyes fail, that we should choose to shut down our visual sense and instead rely on inner sight. It seemed almost that the darkness was blinding. It was confusing, disorienting. As long as I counted on my own eyes, the eyes of sensation, I remained blind. But, closing them, I automatically trusted an inner sense. This one, honed over time, was not confused in the dark. It was peaceful, capable, sure. Almost as if it was waiting for me to call on it.
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