My First Day of School: New Eyes

by bryan maynard

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The news called for rain this morning, and it was my first day back in school in fifteen years. I was more than a little apprehensive. After seating myself ‘in the wrong class,’ I made it to my class fifteen minutes late. Nice way to get started. I was the oldest student in the class-that didn’t bother me at all :), but, I was treated to the privilege of making a new friend; a young girl with straight, brown hair who came and sat near me with her seeing eye dog. “What’s your dog’s name?” I whispered. “This is Roxie,” she said smiling, and Roxie relaxed her body and sat beside her feet and stayed there all day long.

Carrie is legally blind. I sat in the very back row with her, and she and Roxie sat at my right side. When Carrie introduced herself, Roxie gazed up at her face the whole time she was talking. I could tell they had a special relationship. I noticed I was staring now too. Her voice was as docile as a breeze, and if kindness had a distinct sound, I was hearing it come from her. There was no bitterness in her voice, and her eyes were uncovered and alert with light shining from the inside. You know how you sometimes meet a person and you feel the weight of their glory? “Is this person from another world?” I thought to myself. Her smile and her way of carrying herself made me trust her immediately.  As I observed her with growing appreciation, one word kept coming to my mind, “Dignified.” She sat upright, straight backed, and I knew that today I was fortunate to be in the presence of a true human being, full of grace and kindness and a forced, but nobly-born condition that could have made her heart as dark as her eyes.

It was a gift to be in that classroom today. I observed that there is not seeing, and I remembered that we all go through times of not seeing. Our hearts grow exhausted and the light grows dims. But, there is a seeing with the heart that is more than seeing with the eyes.  A heart full of grace and humility and gratitude is the most noble condition any of us could ever attain.

A kind heart sees… even in the dark.

I’m so very grateful for the glory of each person, and for the chance to see it displayed in the eyes of my new friend. She helped me see with new eyes today. So, so grateful!

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