My name is Ben I’ve never seen Christmas lights because I am blind. I was born thirty years ago and the doctors could find no reason why I was blind but I was nonetheless.
Mike my best friend explained my first memory of Christmas with all the lights in detail. He took me to see the miniature hand made stable my grandfather had made with life size replicas of Mary, Joseph, Jesus and the Shepherds. Of course living on a farm in Montana there were animals and gramps tethered them around the miniature stable. I loved petting the cows, donkeys and the soft wooly sheep.
Mike was amazed I could walk around the farm and not bang into things and fall. He asked, “Ben how do you know where you are?” “You can’t see.” I chuckled and tried to explain how I did what I did.
“Mike God is so gracious and when one sense doesn’t work the other senses make up for the loss of that sense.” “My hands, feet, nose and ears pick up the slack and besides I claim Philippians 4:19 as my scripture.” “But my God shall supply all of my need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” I said.
I saw my ophthalmologist Doctor James and he said my optic nerve was healthy but the cornea was damaged and my type of blindness could be repaired with surgery. He explained the procedure in great detail and he asked if I would like to be put on the list for a cornea transplant.
The day came for the procedure, Mike packed our wives, and kids into the SUV and off we went to the hospital. After the surgery, the doctor told everyone that everything went according to plan and I would be able to see after my eyes healed.
Time passed quickly and before we knew it, we were on our way back to the hospital for the unveiling as the kids called it. Doctor James carefully explained everything as he carefully removed each layer of the bandages. He finally came to the two patches over my eyes.
“Ben the room is dark so don’t be alarmed when I remove these patches.” Doctor James said. “Don’t be afraid Ben just listen to my voice and do as I tell you.” “Everything will be alright.” “Ben I want you to slowly open your eyes.” “You will not see clearly but that is normal. It will take a little while for your eyes to adjust to the light.”
Everybody held their breath unable to move or even speak when I finally spoke. “Hi Doctor James it is nice to see you.” The collective shout from that room must have been heard all the way to New York from Montana. What a celebration that was. Seeing Mike, Christy, Cindy and the kids was awesome.
That Christmas Mike loaded us into his SUV and we went all through the neighborhood looking at the lights and decorations. We drove by mom and dads house but they were not home.
Mike said, “I’ve saved the best for last but you have to wear a blind fold.” We drove for what seemed like hours turning different directions and when Mike finally told us to get out of the SUV; I had no idea where we were. He led me up a snowy hill, removed the blind fold, and before me was a miniature stable with life-sized replicas of Mary, Joseph, Jesus, and the Shepherds. There were live animals and a big star shaped light above the stable.
I remembered Mike’s description of this place from my childhood. I was seeing the work of my grandfather’s hands. Tears were streaming from my eyes and I didn’t hear my parents and grandparents come up behind me. “Well, little brother is this a Christmas to remember or not,” Mike my best friend asked?
Mike and I are not related but to me he is my brother. I petted the cows, donkey and sheep as I looked at everything and everyone for the first time through tears of joy. I hugged and kissed everybody as we all walked back to the old farmhouse praising God and singing my favorite carol “Hark the Herald Angels Sing.” Seeing the multi-colored lights around the farmhouse for the first time was majestic. We gathered around the fireplace drank hot cocoa thanked God for our many blessings especially for my eyesight.
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