I skidded into class late, “Sorry I’m late Ms Dawn,”
“Jake, don’t interrupt! Take your place at the table quietly.” She gave me “That Look”. Even Burt the blind boy knew when she gave “That Look”, no talkin’ or horsin’ around was allowed. She loved us, but we had to mind.
“Now, when I turn the light off, you turn around and start identifying by touch, all the items in the box in front of you. When I flip the light on, you stop and turn around quickly so you can’t see the box.” She demonstrated for us. “This exercise is to see how well you use your sense of touch. All of you face the blackboard. No peeking!”
Click, the room went dark. I turned around to my box.
The light had been off for a long time when click! Ms. Dawn turned it on and I spun around to face the blackboard.
“Now, Jake, what did you identify in your box? “ Ms. Dawn had her pencil ready.
“Well, a dinosaur, a train engine, and I think a golf club and maybe a wheel cog.”
“Maybe doesn’t count Jake. Now, Lisa, what did you feel?”
“I found a dog, a comb, a star, a car.” Lisa used her fingers to count. “Oh, a Q.”
Ms. Dawn scribbled fast. “Earl, your list?”
“Uhhh, a comb, a train engine, something’ hairy, made me shiver.” Earl scuffed the floor with his toe.
“But, did you identify the hairy item?”
“Uhhh, No Ma’am.” Earl turned red. I wanted to laugh but didn’t want “That Look” again.
“OK, Grace, your turn.”
“I found a hairbrush, a rubber mouse, a star, and a dinosaur.” Grace replied with a smug look.
“Fine, Burt, how many did you identify?”
“A plane, a train engine, a comb, a dinosaur, a hairy spider, a rubber mouse, the letters Q, B, R, and a hair brush.”
“Can anyone guess why Burt was able to identify more things?” Ms. Dawn put her pad on the table. “Lisa?”
“He has faster hands?”
“He’s got tender fingertips. You know, like the safecrackers on TV. Maybe he sandpapers them?” Earl reached for Burt’s hand.
“No!” Burt jerked away.
“I think I know, Ms. Dawn.”
“Yes, Jake. What do you think?”
“Burt’s been usin’ his fingers to see things since he was born. Without eyes his touch and smell had to get better than ours.”
“Why Jake, that’s a wonderful explanation. Where’d you learn this?”
“My Sunday School Class, Ma’am. Ms. Tate was tellin’ us the story of the blind man Jesus healed and how he would’ve found his way around before Jesus spit in the dust n’ put it on his eyes. I’ve been praying that Jesus will heal Burt’s eyes. Ms. Tate said sometimes it takes a long time. What do you think, Ms. Dawn?”
“I think Ms. Tate is a very good teacher and you’re a great student. I’m very proud of each one of you for doing so well in this experiment.” Ms. Dawn smiled. “We all have special talents that are unique to our environment. Now, if we cooperate with each other, all kinds of good things get done. If we each try to go our own way, our world will fail. God gave us all special talents and jobs. That’s what I am trying to show you in this class. We are all important in the scheme of this world.”
“There’s the bell, see you tomorrow.”
As we left the room, Burt stopped me. “Can I go to Sunday School with you?”
“I’ll ask my parents. Where do ya live?”
“1423 Beale St.”
“That’s close. I bet they’ll say yes. Let’s pray bout it.” I grabbed Burt’s hand.
“Dear Jesus, let Mom say yes. Thank Ya!”
“Is that all?” Burt asked.
“Yep, God an Jesus both hear good. Maybe you’ll get to know Jesus like I do, won’t that be swell?”
“Maybe,” Burt smiled.
“Mom,” I yelled bursting through the door at home.
“Mom, can we take my friend Burt to Sunday School? He lives on Beale Street. Can we, Please! “He’s blind, but he sees with his hands. He’s cool!”
“Yes. It’ll be a pleasure.” Mom smiled. “Write his address down and I’ll contact his folks tomorrow.”
“Thanks Mom, your swell, I have a chance to lead someone to Jesus. I’m goin’ to give Burt a New Testament in Braille. Can I Mom?”
“Oh boy, swell! Thanks God.”
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