The Good News

Welcome to The Good News Blogspot! The Good News is real and alive in my own life. Jesus has fulfilled in my life His promise of fuller and more abundant life (John 15), a quality of life I could not have created for myself. I invite you to share experiences with me so we can all grow into the life He offers us all.

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Catholic by call, Jesuit by nature, a preacher/spiritual conversation partner by choice. Learning about getting older, learning to live in the present moment, one day at a time. Learning to let go and laugh.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

His Vest Said, Blind Runner

A blind man ran past me today. He wore a cotton vest over his plain-colored T shirt – Blind Runner, the vest said in florescent yellow. He carried a white cane, not tapping it on the ground but holding it point-downward ahead of him.

The blind man ran past me today - from behind on the winding drive, then disappearing around a bend ahead. A quarter of an hour later he reappeared, passing by me again, still running his own confident path. He ran past men and women, walking and talking their way along, he as confident as they. He passed children too on bicycles, as easily as I might, if I ran as easily as he.

How, I wondered, did he become a blind man who runs? Once he must have been a blind man who did not run. Then, he discovered that people ran, that these people, called runners, wore special shoes and special clothing that they bought somewhere. And that must have appealed to him too. But did his friends and family say to him, “Blind people can’t run. How can you run?”

Deep inside him he must have carried on the debate: “Blind people don’t run; but I could run. I want to run. But can I run?” Maybe he went to an athletic goods store and said, “I want to run. I want running shoes and running clothes.” Did the salespeople say to him, “You are blind. Blind people can’t run.” Or did they just think it, while staring at the blind man who wanted to run? Did they sell him the running shoes and clothes?

When he finally said to himself, “I will run!” what did he do next?

What was he thinking when he put on his running shoes and running clothes for the first time? Was the debate still going on inside him: “Blind people don’t run; but I could run, and I have the shoes and the clothes. So now I will run.”

“I will consider how God works and labors for me in all creatures upon the face of the earth, that is, he conducts himself as one who labors…I will consider all blessing and gifts as descended from above. Thus, my limited power comes from the supreme and infinite power above…” (The Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius of Loyola, paragraphs 236, 237.)

God was surely acting in the blind man who ran past me today. Perhaps the man knew God’s action explicitly, or perhaps the man felt only what he thought was his own desire and determination. Nonetheless, God acted, God conducted himself as one who labors, and the blind man ran.

October 9, 2006: The Arnold Arboretum, Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts


Blogger acp said...

I could not help but be reminded of my own experience here...I would like to become a ______. People keep telling me I can't be a ______ because I'm a ______ and _____'s can't be _______'s. So I've decided to go to the kind of school that ______'s go to, learn to do at least some of what _______'s do. I'm afraid that all along the way, people will be thinking, "Who does she think she is? She's a _____. Doesn't she know that ______'s can't do what _______'s do?"

Over the past year, I've gotten to the point where my fear no longer interferes with my desire to learn what _________'s learn. In my own study, by the time I read the paragraphs in the Spiritual Exercises Fr. Ben references, I was pretty resolved about it. If God works to put a desire in my heart, and that desire makes me more aware of a gift that may better serve others, who am I the idea is pointless, the notions as crazy as hmmm...a blind runner?

6:47 PM  
Blogger Fr. Ben Hawley, SJ said...

thanks again, acp, for a great comment. (see acp's comment on the posting A Tourist Does the Dakota, above.) we must stay in touch with the desires we feel, because one or more of them may well be God leading us. regrettably, those closest to us, in my case my Jesuit brethren, can sometimes be the least helpful to us in our attempt to act on our discerned ideas. but the Lord is always in charge, and He makes a way out of no way. so, thanks again, acp.

9:32 PM  

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